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MindWare Acquires Peaceable Kingdom

MindWare, a wholly owned subsidiary of Oriental Trading Company, a Berkshire Hathaway business, acquired Peaceable Kingdom. This marks MineWare's first acquisition since its beginning in 1990. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Peaceable Kingdom, headquartered in Berkeley, Calif., is known for its cooperative games. Its collection also includes diaries and stationery, stickers, temporary tattoos, cards, and valentines. Read more…

Jay@Play Launches New Toy Line at Toys "R" Us

Jay@Play will launch its new Playbrites Magical Fun Faces line, available at Toys "R" Us stores nationwide and online this September.
Playbrites are a line of characters that light up to turn any ceiling into a magical light show. Kids can add different accessories to each character, such as eyes, ears, noses, and mouths. All nine accessories store safely into the Playbrite and have a carry handle for easy cleanup and transportation. Playbrites Magical Fun Faces come in six colors and characters to collect, including Bunny, Kitty, Puppy, Dino Dragon, Shark, and Unicorn.

Nintendo Increases Inventory of Super NES Classic Edition

Nintendo now plans to ship the upcoming Super Nintendo Entertainment System: Super NES Classic Edition into 2018 due to high demand for the product. Shipments were originally going to cease at the end of this calendar year.
In addition, more units of Super NES Classic Edition will ship on its Sept. 29 launch day in the U.S. than were shipped of NES Classic Edition all last year, with subsequent shipments arriving in stores regularly. Read more…

National Toy Hall of Fame Reveals Finalists

The 12 finalists for induction into Strong’s National Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester, New York are Clue, Magic 8 Ball, Matchbox Cars, My Little Pony, paper airplane, PEZ Candy Dispenser, play food, Risk, sand, Transformers, Uno, and Wiffle Ball. Only two to three finalists will join other toys in the hall and sit alongside past inductees such as Barbie, LEGO, Monopoly, Rubik's Cube, and Star Wars action figures.
The final 2017 toy inductees will be chosen on the advice of a national selection advisory committee, and will be announced on Nov. 9. Criteria for induction include icon status, longevity, discovery, and innovation.

WIT Accepting Nominations for Elise Lachowyn Mentorship Award

Women in Toys, Licensing, & Entertainment is accepting nominations for the Elise Lachowyn Mentorship Award, to be presented at the 2018 Wonder Women Awards Gala.
The Elise Lachowyn Mentorship Award honors an individual, female or male, who is recognized by her or his mentees and industry peers for having provided valuable advice, support, and guidance. Through a significant commitment of their time and effort, the award honoree will have contributed to the growth of the toy, licensing, or entertainment industry by building their mentee’s professional skills and abilities. Mentees can be inside or outside of the mentor's business.
Nominations will be open until Oct. 1. Click here to nominate a mentor!

Feld Entertainment, Sesame Workshop Kick Off Partnership with New Show

Feld Entertainment Inc.'s inaugural production under its new partnership with Sesame Workshop is Sesame Street Live! Let's Party! Families will be immersed in the happy world of Sesame Street through furry and friendly encounters both on and off stage.
During the show, parents and children will sing along to a pop-infused soundtrack with Sesame Street friends and live emcees Casey and Caleb. Party guests will sing along to new and familiar songs, such as “I Love Trash” and “C is for Cookie,” with Oscar the Grouch and Cookie Monster; dance to the beat with Elmo; explore a wintry wonderland when Abby Cadabby’s magic goes awry; take flight with Big Bird to learn about some of his fabulous feathered friends; and discover new cultures in an interactive Spanish lesson with Rosita. Read more…

Mattel Launches Challenge Accepted Hot Wheels Campaign

In partnership with BBDO San Francisco, Mattel unveiled a new Hot Wheels brand campaign titled, "Challenge Accepted." The campaign showcases how the challenges Hot Wheels provides to kids help them build skills and confidence.
The campaign launched with a one minute-long video focusing on a mother and son, drawing parallels between play and reality. The campaign will play during NBC's American Ninja Warrior to reach a co-viewing audience, and will be supported by a multi-year 360-degree marketing effort to include TV, cinema, social, and digital.

Fifth Kids India to Focus on Value of Play

The fifth Kids India trade show in Mumbai, taking place from Sept. 20 to 22, will feature a second panel discussion focused on the value of play. Industry leaders and prominent childcare experts will underline the importance of toys as a comprehensive learning aid for children. Read more…

Lionel Signs LMA for Licensing Program

Lisa Marks Associates Inc. (LMA) is now the licensing agency for Lionel LLC. Key planned product categories for the Lionel licensing program include toys and games, gifts and collectibles, publishing, digital games and apps, apparel and accessories, and more.
Since 1900, Lionel’s classic railroad sets and toys feature an attention to detail, with accurate model reproductions of locomotives, train cars, structures and accessories. Lionel has also committed to the present with Bluetooth technology and innovative new collections such as the Polar Express train set, which was released in conjunction with the Warner Bros. movie.

U.S. Toy and Game Shipments Expected to Total $1.1 Billion in 2021

U.S. toy and game shipments are forecast to fall to $1.1 billion in 2021, according to Toys & Games: United States, a report recently released by Freedonia Focus Reports. Competition from imports, which already meet the vast majority of U.S. demand, will drive shipments to retreat.
U.S. demand for toys and games is forecast to expand 2.3 percent annually through 2021. Expansion of the population aged 35 to 44, which contains those most likely to have and buy toys for children, will drive gains. Read more…

North America Expected to Dominate Smart Toys Market by 2022

Transparency Market Research (TMR) reports that the global smart toys market is heavily dependent on product innovation, and that an increasing number of players are venturing into the competitive landscape.
Based on toy-type, the global smart toys market gains maximum demand for voice- or image-recognition toys, accounting for $2,271.7 million in 2017 and projected for a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.7 percent during the forecast period of 2017 to 2022. This segment is growing at $89.7 million annually over the course of the forecast period, and this absolute growth is larger than the any other segment. Read more…

3Doodler Reaches One Million Milestone

3-D printing pen creator 3Doodler celebrated selling its one millionth pen. The company has raised more than $4 million on Kickstarter across three separate campaigns, and its products are now sold in 60 countries around the world—boasting more than $20 million a year in revenue.
Since its launch four years ago, 3Doodler was referenced on The Simpsons and signed licenses with 20th Century Fox, Cartoon Network, and CBS to create limited-edition pen sets. The company also offers themed kits, including the 3Doodler Start Robotics Pen Set and Activity Kit.
Beyond mainstream education, 3Doodler recently received the official seal of approval for the 3Doodler Start from UK charity Royal National Institute for the Blind, the UK charity, who affirmed it as an easy-to-use product for those who are blind or partially sighted. The company is now also working with organizations in the U.S. to continue removing barriers to creativity for individuals with a range of other disabilities.

Sesame Workshop Names Ed Wells Head of International Media and Education

Ed Wells joins Sesame Workshop as head of international media and education. In this role, Wells will manage Sesame's internal offices and expansion efforts throughout Europe, the GCC, Latin America, and Asia Pacific. Wells will oversee all production, distribution, themed entertainment, education, and licensing businesses for the Workshop across these regions.
Most recently, Wells served as executive vice president and head of International for WWE, Inc., where he was responsible for the global strategic development of WWE’s brand and businesses, including the launch of the direct-to-consumer subscription service, WWE Network. Prior to that, he worked across the Viacom International Media Networks brands based in New York, Singapore, and Japan, where he served as vice president and general manager of Nickelodeon.

Spin Master to Be Included in S&P/TSX Composite Index

Spin Master Corp. will be added to the S&P/TSX Composite Index effective after close of trading on Sept. 15.
"Inclusion in the S&P/TSX Composite Index is a significant milestone in Spin Master's history and reflects the successful execution of our growth strategies," says Mark Segal, executive vice-president & chief financial officer of Spin Master. "Our inclusion in the index will contribute to increasing Spin Master's visibility in the investment community and further broaden our shareholder base."
The S&P/TSX Composite Index has provided investors with a premier indicator of market activity for Canadian equity markets since its launch in 1977. With approximately 95 percent coverage of the Canadian equities market, it is the primary gauge for Toronto Stock Exchange listed companies.

September 14, 2017
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