May 30, 2014

Jakks Teams Up with Skechers for New miWorld, Cabbage Patch Kids Toys

Jakks Pacific Inc. has entered a long-term licensing agreement with Skechers USA Inc. to manufacture, distribute, and market a line of toys and products inspired by the Skechers and Twinkle Toes brands. The agreement encompasses multiple product categories, including collectibles, dress-up, and role play.
Jakks will launch a miWorld Skechers play set, allowing kids to build and design their very own Skechers mini replica store, and to play in ways that are authentic to the lifestyle footwear brand. The company will also produce a line of Twinkle Toes Cabbage Patch Kids featuring miniature replicas of real-life Twinkle Toes footwear.
Jakks plans to launch its Skechers-licensed miWorld play sets this fall, and its Twinkle Toes Cabbage Patch Kids products this June at retailers nationwide.

Reeves International Distributes Basic Concepts’ New Summer Lines

Reeves International has partnered with Basic Concepts to distribute three new collections of water blasters, air gliders, and themed activity kits in the U.S. this summer. These items will be available in both the mass and specialty markets.
The Aero Force line includes the Aero Force Glider, which has precision wing design and technological components designed by an aerospace engineer to maximize flight time. Meanwhile, pre-pressurized water cartridges for Hydro Force blasters never lose water pressure, letting kids back into their games faster.
Basic Concepts’ In a Minute blind bags guide kids through the art of quick magic tricks, science kits, building kits, and gags.

Sega Creates All-New Character, Sticks, for Sonic Boom Franchise

SticksSega has introduced Sticks, a brand new character that will play an integral role across all Sonic Boom platforms. Sonic Boom is the newest branch of the Sonic the Hedgehog universe and was announced earlier this year.
Sticks, a jungle badger who has spent most of her life living alone in the wilderness and wields her trusty handmade boomerang, will join the Sonic Boom team alongside Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Amy. She will appear in the Sonic Boom television series, Wii U and Nintendo 3DS video games, and merchandise.



Toys “R” Us Encourages Customers to #Stir4ACure to Benefit Alex's Lemonade Stand

Lemonade StandToys “R” Us Inc. has reaffirmed its support of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a cure for childhood cancer. Beginning June 1 through July 31, monetary donations will be collected at Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us stores nationwide, and online at
Toys “R” Us will also debut a new campaign theme and consumer engagement initiative, #Stir4ACure, which invites social media users to spread awareness for the charity by sharing who or what they stir for—whether it’s a cure, a family member, or all children fighting cancer. In addition, on June 20 and 21, Toys “R” Us locations nationwide will hold in-store events, providing kids and families with the opportunity to donate and receive information about ALSF.



Mega Brands, Mattel Donate More Than $70,000 to Autism Speaks Canada

Mega BrandsMega Brands Inc. has donated $72,000 to Autism Speaks Canada in support of Autism Awareness Month. The donation was presented at the 2014 Walk Now for Autism Speaks event in Montreal, which helps fund autism treatment, education, research, and advocacy throughout the country. Mega Brands was also the local presenting sponsor of the event.
The money was raised during April when Mega Brands pledged to donate one dollar for every Mega Bloks toy sold by Toys “R” Us Canada both in stores and online. This generated more than $20,000 in proceeds. Philanthropic donors also contributed $29,000 to the pledge amount.
Mega Brands employees raised an additional $10,000 in donations through bake sales and auctions, an amount that was matched by Mattel.

Legoland Florida Theme Park Adds Duplo Valley Expansion

LegolandThe Legoland Florida theme park has officially opened its latest expansion, Duplo Valley. The new extension brings the Lego Duplo line of preschool building toys to life with new farm-themed attractions, an air-conditioned indoor play area, and a water play area for toddlers age 2 to 5.
Duplo Valley was designed to be an environment where parents can play and relax with their toddlers. New outdoor attractions include Duplo Train, Duplo Tractor, and a Duplo Splash & Play area. The barn-themed play area includes private nursing and changing stations, rocking chairs, microwaves, bottle warmers, high chairs, and cell phone charging stations.
Guests can also purchase the all-new Preschool Pass, which includes weekday admission to Legoland Florida and standard parking for one child under five and one adult for a full year.

Summer Is Here!

Yes, yes, I know that summer actually starts next month. But for all intents and purposes, Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer, and for the next three months, we’ll be cramming in as many cookouts, camping trips, beach days, and family get-togethers as we can. Kids have already started the countdown to the end of the school year, and after the long, harsh winter we had here in the northeast this year, they’re ready to get out and make the most of their summer vacation. Here are some great outdoor toys that will make it a summer to remember: Read more…

Teen Titans Go! Has Licensed Toys Ready to Go

It’s been a good year for superhero comics on TV, what with the success of DC Comics’ Arrow and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., not to mention the planned fall arrivals of The Flash and Gotham. But let’s not forget the animated side of small screen super-heroics, as the second season of Teen Titans Go! premieres next month. The series resurrects Teen Titans, which aired during the mid-to-late 2000s, as something wackier and anarchic. Both shows are based on the long-running comic book of the same name, which is centered on some of the best-known teenage characters in DC’s pantheon. Read more…

Donald Levine, G.I. Joe Action Figure Creator, Passes Away

Donald Levine, creator of the G.I. Joe action figure, died of cancer on May 22 at the age of 86 in Rhode Island, as reported by the New York Daily News. Levine was inspired to create the action figures as a way to honor war veterans after he served in Korea. As Hasbro’s head of research and development, he helped guide the design, dimensions, and features of the original toy, which was an 11.5-inch articulated figure with 21 moving parts. Since Hasbro employed a number of military veterans, he and his team decided to dress the figures in Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine uniforms.
G.I. Joe arrived on shelves in time for the 1964 Christmas shopping season.

VTech Reports FY2014 Annual Results

VTech Holdings Limited recently announced its results for the year ended March 31, reporting higher revenue across its major markets and an improved gross margin. Group revenue for the year increased by 2.2 percent to $1.9 billion. This increase was mainly attributable to higher revenue in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific, offsetting lower revenue in other regions.
Profit attributable to shareholders rose 0.9 percent to $203.3 million. During the 2014 financial year, VTech Holdings increased its advertising and promotion expenses to support InnoTab in the U.S. in response to a competitive market. Basic earnings per share grew by 0.6 percent to $0.81.

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