May 23, 2013

Laser Pegs

Discovery Kids and Walgreens Partner for Line of Outdoor Toys

Discovery KidsDiscovery Communications Inc. will launch Discovery Kids Outdoor Adventure Toys exclusively at Walgreens for its Discovery Kids brand. The new toy line is available this summer at Walgreens stores nationwide.
The Outdoor Adventure line includes metal detectors, detective periscopes, a field tools kit featuring six options, a 4-in-1 magnifiers set to explore various surfaces, bug playgrounds, and binoculars. Each toy also incorporates a special QR code that links to exclusive Discovery Kids content and activities on DiscoveryKids.com. This new line of toys is the latest addition to the Discovery Kids and Walgreens merchandise program that launched last holiday season.

Sega Announces Exclusive Nintendo Partnership for Sonic

Sega of America Inc. and Sega Europe Ltd. have entered an exclusive partnership with Nintendo of America Inc. and Nintendo of Europe GmbH for the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise. The new agreement will make Nintendo consoles the premier destination for Sonic gaming over the next three titles, with more details of the individual games being revealed in the coming weeks.
Sega of America said the next three titles of Sonic the Hedgehog will launch for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. Sonic the Hedgehog first appeared as a video game character in June 1991 and has become an icon for a generation of gamers. There are more than 75 million Sonic video games and smartphone apps sold worldwide.

Tek Recon on Track to Meet Kickstarter Goal   

Tek ReconTek Recon, from Tech 4 Kids, will be available for demonstration and sampling by fans and consumers for the first time at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles from June 11 to 13.
E3 will immediately follow a crowd-funding campaign hosted on Kickstarter that began May 9. Gamers, tech enthusiasts, and blaster fans have reached out to provide feedback, insight, and support on Tek Recon since the beginning of the Kickstarter campaign, which is currently more than 51-percent funded and tracking to exceed the Kickstarter goal of $50,000.
Gamers, adventure-seekers, and fans of technology are being called upon to help create this revolutionary new way to connect and play. Tek Recon Blasters feature a first-of-its-kind design with real trigger action, authentic recoil, and specially designed reusable NRG Rounds.
Tek Recon developed a free Live Action Online Gaming app to enhance blaster battles. Players can connect their mobile devices to the blaster to bring video game-style play to life through mobile and GPS technology. The free Tek Recon app will be available for iOS and Android devices, enhancing real battle experience through an interactive heads-up display, live chat, vision modes, and more.

tokidoki Adds New Characters to Plush Line

tokidokitokidoki, the pop culture brand meaning “sometimes” in Japanese, has introduced new characters to its line of plush. Donutina and Donutino come to life as huggable plush, and Adios is a snuggable pillow.
Following the release of the Donutella & Her Sweet Friends Mini Plush, tokidoki adds the 9-inch Donutina and 8-inch Donutino to its plush line. Each will be available online and in stores this month.
After 500 years of living in fire and brimstone, Adios and his beloved star icon is now a 22-inch pillow. The Adios Star will be available online and in stores in June.

 
Toys “R” Us Offers Exclusive Despicable Me 2 Toy Line

Despicable Me 2Toys inspired by the upcoming 3-D, CGI comedy adventure film Despicable Me 2, from Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment, have made their debut at Toys “R” Us stores nationwide and online at Toysrus.com. Through May, the U.S. retailer will offer an all-new line of toys based on the movie, including action and interactive figures, plush, and games.
The movie, which arrives in theaters on July 3, is the sequel to the 2010 fim, Despicable Me. Despicable Me 2 sees the return of super-villain Gru and his arsenal of gadgets and gizmos, his adorable girls, and the unpredictable Minions.
In Toys “R” Us stores now, shoppers will find exclusive items from Thinkway Toys, such as a banana-scented Fart Blaster, plush characters, and interactive Minions. Also available are collectible action figures, a build-your-own Minion figure, a Minion missile launcher, and a Minion mobile. And, beginning May 30, fans will find all of these products along with classic games like Despicable Me 2 Monopoly and Despicable Me 2 Operation in a dedicated feature shop inside Toys “R” Us stores nationwide.

Mattel’s Hot Wheels to Attempt World Record at Indy 500

Hot WheelsThe Hot Wheels team is headed to the Indianapolis 500 speedway this weekend to build the longest toy track set in history. On May 25, the day before the race, four kids will speed toy Hot Wheels cars through a 1-mile, four-lane oval racetrack in an attempt to set a new world record.
Mattel is calling it the “World’s Best Driver Championship,” and kids can recreate the race with track set pieces exclusively from Toys “R” Us. The entire Indy 500 track will be constructed with 1,494 pieces of Hot Wheels track custom-made from 4,700 pounds of aluminum. A total of 46 people will install the track, which will be coated with powder to increase vehicle speed.
For more information, or to recreate the experience, visit www.buildyourtrack.com.

 

Creativity International Partners with Tesco for Mister Maker Promotion

Creativity International has teamed up with the UK’s largest retailer, Tesco, launching a major promotion featuring Mister Maker craft packs.
Mister Maker is the interactive arts preschool TV show from Zodiak Rights, which airs on CBeebies in the UK and has garnered an audience worldwide. The month-long Tesco promotion, which launched on May 16, will see Mister Maker craft kits at special promotion prices.
As part of the promotion, Tesco will also launch an exclusive Mister Maker Sealife Puppets Kit. The promotion will take place in 286 stores, each using a display unit containing eight different lines, including Mister Maker Sock Puppets, Pom Pom Animals, Wild Animal Masks, Animal Hand Puppets, Pencil Toppers, Make a Face, and the exclusive Sealife Puppets Kit.

Nickelodeon Launches Step by Step Explore with Dora

Dora the ExplorerNickelodeon is launching the network’s new year-long, multi-platform campaign Step by Step Explore with Dora, which gives parents the tools and resources needed to help preschoolers through life’s first adventures, such as potty training, the first day of school, and learning to ride a bicycle.
Beginning in June, the network will feature Step by Step Explore with Dora-themed on-air spots and special programming stunts. In addition, parents can visit the site stepbystep.nick.com for tips, tools, activities, and games.
The site also includes the specially created Step by Step Explore with Dora Digital Photo Frame app. Parents can upload a photo of their child to create a special customizable digital photo frame to commemorate their child’s “first,” which can then be shared via Facebook, used as a screensaver, or printed.
Additionally, an array of Step by Step Explore with Dora products are available at retailers to help parents encourage their little ones to explore with Dora.

Preparing for Baby… Let’s Go Shopping!

As I prepare for the arrival of Baby Boy Breyer (due in July!), I’ve taken a special interest in toys and other juvenile products for infants. While I’ve saved a good deal of baby items from my daughter, now 3, it’s always nice to have new stuff for a new baby. Plus, since he is a boy, many of the pink, girly things I’d saved just won’t do. Time to shop! Here are some of the cool, sweet, and innovative new baby items I’ve recently uncovered. Read more.

“Old Fashioned” Board Games Still Bring the Competition

I like to play a board game every now and then. These days, pulling out a thin cardboard box filled with a folded board, loose cards, and player pieces happens less frequently, and often takes some convincing on my part for my prospective opponents. However, it wasn’t always that way, and while kids today have a plethora of entertainment options to choose from, the classic board game still has a fan base. The features and effects—not to mention appearance—of games may have evolved, but a good old-fashioned friendly competition around the table is still a great way for families to connect. Read more.

Lisa Silverman Meyers Appointed SVP, Operations and Business Planning, NVCP

Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN), a unit of Viacom Inc., has appointed Lisa Silverman Meyers to the role of senior vice president of operations and business planning for Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products (NVCP). In this role, Silverman Meyers will oversee all of NVCP’s systems and processes management and take a leading role in strategic business planning, operations, and analysis.
Silverman Meyers joins VIMN from Nickelodeon Consumer Products’ U.S. division where she most recently served as senior vice president, online retail development and DTR.  She will be based in New York and reports directly to Ron Johnson, executive vice president, NVCP. Silverman Meyers will work in partnership with NVCP’s regional heads, brand management, retail, promotions, recreation, and finance, as well as partners to optimize and leverage marketplace opportunities and to better serve clients.

Target Corp. Reports Financial Earnings for First Quarter

Target Corp. has reported first quarter net earnings of $498 million. In the first quarter of this year, sales increased 0.5 percent to $16.6 billion from $16.5 billion last year, reflecting a 0.6 percent decline in comparable-store sales combined with the contribution from new stores. Segment earnings before interest expense and income taxes were $1.24 billion in the first quarter of 2013, a decrease of 7.5 percent from $1.34 billion in 2012.

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