Kids and parents can now experience Playmation Marvel’s Avengers for the first time at participating Disney Store locations, where two- and five-minute training sessions are available daily. For those who want to take part in an expanded experience, 30-minute Avengers Gear Orientations are available on Saturdays and Sundays by reservation only. During the longer Avenger Gear Orientation, kids and parents can learn more about the Avenger Gear, follow instructions from JARVIS, and interact with other participants to complete missions and adventures.
Today, Elemental Path is beginning its pre-sale of CogniToys, a line of cloud-based talking dinosaurs that learn and grow alongside children. Recommended for kids ages 5 and up and introduced earlier this year, CogniToys is available in green, blue, or pink; and each dinosaur measures roughly 7.5 inches tall.
McFarlane Toys, in partnership with HBO Global Licensing, has signed a licensing agreement to bring the TV series Game of Thrones to the construction toy aisle this fall. Following in its tradition of highly detailed construction sets, McFarlane Toys will add an artistic layer to each Game of Thrones brick piece, resulting in construction sets that double as realistic models of notable locations seen on the show.
Activision Publishing Inc. will unveil the new Skylanders SuperChargers Dark Edition at Comic-Con International: San Diego, and attendees will be among the first consumers to play the game with dark versions of the Starter Pack characters. They include Dark Turbo Charge Donkey Kong with the Dark Barrel Blaster land vehicle, Dark Hammer Slam Bowser with the Dark Clown Cruiser sky vehicle, and Stealth Elf in a new Dark version.
As reported by the Toy Industry Association (TIA), the Genius of Play campaign was launched last week, and parents and caregivers across the U.S. have already pledged to play a collective 58,000 hours with the children in their lives. In addition, more than 50 TIA member companies have shared the campaign’s inaugural Facebook post and its message about the essential role of play in the development of children.
American Girl is opening its first-ever American Girl shop-in-shop boutiques in Mexico with El Palacio de Hierro, the country’s largest and best-established high-end retailer. Located at El Palacio de Hierro Interlomas and Perisur locations, the new boutiques range in size from 1,500 to 2,000 square feet. Opening on July 4, they mark the second international retail presence for American Girl.
Roughly a week after its launch, Little Charmers: Sparkle Up has taken the No. 1 spot for downloaded iPad apps in the App Store on iTunes across the U.S. and Canada. The first app for the Little Charmers brand, Little Charmers: Sparkle Up is a free download for tablets and smartphones that will be available on Amazon and Google Play this month. So far, it has garnered more than 100,000 downloads in the U.S. and Canada.
Pride Manufacturing, located in Burnham, Maine, is producing the latest products in the Lincoln Logs line. Part of the K’NEX family of brands, they have been included in K’NEX’s toy line for this year.
The Horseshoe Hill Station set is available now; all other items will be available at retailers this fall. All products are recommended for kids ages 3 and up. The full line is as follows:
Kathee Tesija, executive vice president, chief merchandising and supply chain officer at Target Corp., will move into an advisory role effective July 6. Tesija has spent nearly 30 years at Target, contributing to the retailer’s growth and recent efforts to regain momentum.
In her new role, she will spend the next several months contributing to key enterprise initiatives and ensuring a smooth transition of her responsibilities.
Lionsgate and Hasbro are partnering to bring Monopoly to the big screen. The film version has been described as centering on a boy from Baltic Avenue who uses both Chance and Community in a quest to make his fortune, taking him on a fun, adventure-filled journey.
Disney XD has entered into an agreement with Dentsu Entertainment USA Inc. to telecast 26 half-hour episodes of Yo-Kai Watch in the U.S. Based on an original concept by Level 5 Inc., Yo-Kai Watch is a joint production effort by Level 5 Inc., Dentsu Inc., and TV Tokyo Corporation. Level-5 will be leading rights management and marketing coordination for the franchise.
The Walt Disney Company is realigning two of its divisions, Disney Consumer Products and Disney Interactive. The new combined segment, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media (DCPI), will be run jointly by Leslie Ferraro, co-chair, DCPI and president, Disney Consumer Products; and Jimmy Pitaro, co-chair, DCPI and president, Disney Interactive.
Genius Brands International Inc. (GBI) and its wholly owned subsidiary, A Squared Entertainment, have finalized a licensing agreement with License 2 Play for the development of plush toys for From Frank. The announcement was made today by Stone Newman, GBI’s President of Global Consumer Products.
License 2 Play will develop a broad range of plush consumer products based on From Frank images and witticisms. The products will be available for the holiday season through various national stores and online retailers.
Toymail Co., the creator of Mailmen toys and the Toymail app for iOS and Android, has received an investment by Amazon from the Alexa Fund and plans to integrate the Alexa Voice Service into its messaging platform for kids. Toymail will use the investment from the Alexa Fund for product research and to scale its SAS footprint.
The brand new Disney Minnie Mouse Twin Bedroom Collection has arrived from Delta Children. The popular character’s presence can be seen throughout the headboard, the mirror, and the knobs on the dresser and nightstand.
So I recently attended the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) Marketplace & Academy, which took place in Charlotte earlier this month. While it wasn’t nearly as overwhelming as its northeastern counterpart, February’s North American International Toy Fair, it was still a great place to spot new developments in toys and games, especially the latter.
Toys “R” Us today revealed its lineup of exclusive figures and playthings, which will be available at Comic-Con International: San Diego next month. The retailer will provide convention goers with the opportunity to be among the first to purchase exclusive figures, figure packs, and play sets including Batman Classic TV Series Batgirl, from Mattel; G.I. Joe Desert Duel and My Little Pony Daring Do Dazzle, from Hasbro; and more.
The Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) will hold a fall toy giveaway for U.S. Navy families stationed in Rota, Spain. Held in partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) Military Services, the October event will bring brand new toys and a day of play to 1,000 children living overseas. Details about contributing toys to the [...]
littleBits Electronics Inc. has landed $44.2 million in new funding to further its growth. The additional funding round was led by DFJ Growth, with additional participation from new investors Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners, Grishin Robotics, and Wamda Capital, among others.
The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) Retail Sustainability Conference will take place in Austin, Texas, from September 15 to 18 at the JW Marriott. Registration for the conference is now open, and members of the Toy Industry Association (TIA) are eligible for the discounted RILA member registration rate.
This article first appeared in the May/June 2015 issue of The Toy Book. The great American bookstore has made room for a great American toy store. Barnes & Noble is the largest retail bookseller in the U.S., with nearly 650 stores nationwide, as well as a thriving web presence. But in recent years, the bookstore [...]
June 3, 2015 By Guest Blogger
The Toy Book (TTB): How are you engaging customers to drive sales? Diana Brobmann (DB): We have the most powerful tool in the marketplace–the mommy bloggers, and now, the daddy bloggers. We have partnered with a consortium of top bloggers to engage our target audience by providing timely information about Giggo Toys as well as [...]
May 25, 2015 By Guest Blogger
by Zac Bissonnette, author, The Great Beanie Baby Bubble: Mass Delusion and the Dark Side of Cute Between 1996 and 1999, Ty Warner earned more than a billion dollars with a single line of understuffed beanbag animals that retailed for $5 each. In my new book, The Great Beanie Baby Bubble: Mass Delusion and the [...]