June 05, 2014

China Toy Expo

Skylanders Trap Master Character Available for Pre-Order for Skylanders Trap Team

SkylandersSkylanders Trap Team brings a new female character, Gearshift, to Portal Masters via a special pre-order program starting today. Gearshift is the latest character to be unveiled in the Skylanders Trap Team lineup and will be offered to Skylanders fans for pre-order at all major North American retailers while supplies last. Fans will be able to get their hands on the Tech element character months in advance of her official arrival at retail next year. A limited supply of Gearshift will also be available for the October 5 launch of Skylanders Trap Team in North America.



VTech Welcomes Fourth Generation Learning Tablets to InnoTab Family

VTech has added three new children’s learning tablets to its InnoTab family: InnoTab Max, which features a multi-core CPU, high-resolution 7-inch display, and Android learning content; InnoTab 3S Plus, which includes Wi-Fi and access to VTech Premium Kid Connect; and InnoTab 3 Plus, an affordable first learning tablet.
InnoTab Max includes more than 200 educator-endorsed Android learning games and access to more than 650 age-appropriate learning software and apps through VTech’s Learning Lodge app store, as well as VTech’s library of cartridges. InnoTab Max grows with a child from ages 3 to 9 and beyond, bridging the gap for parents considering a children’s learning tablet, but also looking for rich Android content.
The entire line of InnoTab tablets is designed to withstand physical wear and tear from kids.

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Licensed Toys Set to Explode at Retail

Guardians of the GalaxyToy manufacturers including Hasbro, Lego, and KIDdesigns have developed a wide range across key product categories inspired by Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, which arrives in theaters on August 1. Products include a10-inch electronic figure from Hasbro, The Milano Spaceship Rescue construction set from Lego, vinyl bobble heads from Funko, and Star-Lord and Rocket Raccoon costumes from Rubie’s Costume Co. and Disguise.
To date, Guardians of the Galaxy has received major mass retailer commitment, including a cross-category pallet program at Wal-Mart, top placement for Hasbro and Lego’s toy lines in all key accounts, and a heavily promoted party goods program with Party City.





Aquarius Entertainment Expands into Toy and Games, Signs Agreement with Hasbro

Aquarius EntretainmentAquarius Entertainment Merchandise (aka NMR Distribution America) has transitioned from a poster, calendar, and gift vendor to a toy and games gift resource. Its top performing products include playing cards and puzzles in the game category and desk top standees, lunch tins, and tin signs in the gift category. A DC Comics board game is currently in development.
Aquarius has also entered into a licensing agreement with Hasbro to create a range of collectible classic lunch box tins, playing cards, tin deck sets, funky chunky magnets, and posters and décor featuring Hasbro’s classic brands, such as My Little Pony, Transformers, Mr. Potato Head, G.I. Joe, Monopoly, and Candyland.

World Tech Toys Signs Deal with WWE

World Tech Toys has signed a licensing agreement with World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. (WWE) to design and manufacture licensed R/C helicopters based on WWE superstars Hulk Hogan, John Cena, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and others. The company is behind electric-powered R/C copters featuring built-in gyroscopes that automatically stabilize the craft, so users can focus on flying or hovering. Along with its own proprietary line of R/C toys, the company offers a variety of flying and driving R/C toys based on pop culture brands.

Rubie’s Costume Co. Launches Godzilla Costume Collection

Rubies GodzillaRubie’s Costume Co., under license with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, has launched officially licensed costumes, hooded sweatshirts, masks, and accessories based on the motion picture Godzilla, from Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures. The collection is available in child and adult sizes.








Toys “R” Us Celebrates Athletes Participating in the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games

With the start of the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games a little more than a week away, Toys “R” Us employees throughout the tri-state area in stores, its headquarters in Wayne, N.J., and its distribution center in Flanders, N.J., are ready to help Special Olympics athletes as volunteers.
The company is the presenting sponsor of the first-ever Young Athletes Festival at the 2014 USA Games, which provides opportunities for kids ages 2 to 7 to take part in the Special Olympics' Young Athletes Program. This inclusive, innovative play program for children with and without intellectual disabilities helps them to develop critical early cognitive, social, and motor skills, and introduces them to the world of sports.
Toys “R” Us is also proud to be the presenting sponsor of the 2014 USA Games Law Enforcement Torch Run, in which more than 100 law enforcement officers and Special Olympics athletes from all 50 states will take part. The multi-day torch run leads up to the Games’ opening ceremony. The torch will make stops at the Statue of Liberty, Freedom Tower, and Toys “R” Us’ flagship store, Toys "R" Us in Times Square.

Cimorelli and Hasbro Collaborate on Brand Anthem for DohVinci Line

Universal Island recording artists and YouTube singing sensation Cimorelli teamed up with Hasbro Inc. to create an original brand anthem for Hasbro's all new DohVinci brand. “What I Do” was written and performed by the six-sister band to inspire tweens to discover and express their creativity in their own unique ways. 
Hasbro's DohVinci art and design kits debut this fall.

TIA to Host Webinar on U.S. Customs and Border Protection Enforcement

The Toy Industry Association (TIA) will host a webinar on June 26 to provide toy industry stakeholders with a behind-the-scenes view of U.S. Customs and Border Protection enforcement and trade facilitation. It will also provide insight into how to streamline the importation of products during the upcoming peak shipping season.

The webinar, Beyond the Ports: Customs and Border Protection Enforcement, will take place from 3 to 4pm. Registration is now open and free for TIA members. More information is available at the TIA website’s Education page.

Watch Dogs from Ubisoft Breaks Industry Sales Record with Launch

Watch DogsThe release of Watch Dogs has been the most successful title launch for Ubisoft to date. The video game has sold more than 4 million copies in its first week, and has positioned itself as the best-selling new intellectual property launch across the video game industry. Watch Dogs has already broken sales records for a title in the first 24 hours following its release.
The game’s launch on consoles and PC was accompanied by the release of a free companion app, ctOS Mobile, which allows gamers to connect with the Watch Dogs universe from anywhere, and is designed to enable dual-screen gameplay or a standalone experience without the main game. The app has already been downloaded and played by more than 1 million people.

Barbie Launches Fan Bing Bing Celebrity Specialty Doll

This past Saturday, Barbie launched the Fan Bing Bing Celebrity Specialty doll, based on the international film star. Fan is the first actress from China to join the Barbie global celebrity Hall of Fame, following in the footsteps of Cher, Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, and Marilyn Monroe.
Fan visited Mattel headquarters in the U.S. earlier this year, and offered thoughts to Robert Best, Barbie’s chief designer for the Barbie Specialty line, and his design team. The launch of the doll coincides with a three-week long Barbie “Shine Your Way” exhibition at the Grand Gateway in Shanghai, intended to inspire young girls across China.

Discover the World of Dora and Her Friends

Kids’ favorite explorer Dora will introduce a whole new group of friends in this summer’s new Nickelodeon series Dora and Friends: Into the City. Friends Alana, Emma, Naiya, Kate, and Pablo will all be available in a product line developed by Fisher-Price. The line goes beyond traditional characters—such as Boots, Perrito, and even that mischievous Swiper the Fox—and brings kids a fresh range of all-new friends that Dora meets in the show’s beautiful pan-Latino metropolis, Playa Verde. Read more…

Fibre-Craft Names Dan Shure as President

Daniel B. ShureFibre-Craft Materials Corp., a manufacturer of creative activities and toys under the Creative Hands, The Springfield Collection, and Bendastix brand names, has named Daniel B. Shure as its president effective immediately. Shure will report to John Abens, who assumes the new title of chairman.
Most recently, Shure was president of BeShure LLC, a consumer products consulting company, and prior to that he managed toy and gift companies, including Strombecker Corp., Processed Plastic Co., and Tootsietoy Corp. He also served several terms as a director of the Toy Industry Association


ICTI Care Foundation President and CEO Christian Ewert Departs

Christian Ewert, president and CEO of the ICTI Care Foundation, will depart after 10 years of leadership. Ewert will take up his new position at the beginning of September, and a search for a new CEO will be undertaken. Frank Clarke has been seconded from Strategy XXI Partners, as well as the ICTI Care Foundation Secretariat, to serve as acting managing director until a new CEO comes on board.

Jakks Pacific Increases Size and Pricing of Recent Convertible Senior Notes Offering

Jakks Pacific Inc. has announced the pricing of $100 million principal amount of 4.875 percent convertible senior notes due 2020. This is an increase in the offering size of $25 million principal amount of the notes from a previously announced offering size.
The notes will be convertible at the option of the holder, and upon conversion, will be settled in shares of Jakks’ common stock, except that cash will be paid in lieu of any fractional shares. The conversion rate will initially be 103.7613 shares of Jakks common stock per $1,000 principal amount of notes—equivalent to an initial conversion price of approximately $9.64 per share of common stock—subject to adjustment in certain circumstances. The notes will be senior unsecured obligations of Jakks and will rank equal in right of payment with all of Jakks’ existing and future senior unsecured indebtedness. The notes will be effectively subordinate to all of the company’s existing and future secured indebtedness, to the extent of the assets securing such debt.
Jakks anticipates closing the offering of the notes on June 9. Jakks also granted the initial purchaser of the notes a 30-day option to purchase up to $15 million in principal amount of additional notes.

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China Toy Expo

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