HoliDAY of Play 2015

Digital Kids Summit to Explore Trends in Connected Play

Digital Kids Summit logoToy and entertainment industry professionals with an interest in emerging technologies impacting play are invited to attend the Digital Kids Summit, taking place September 9 to 10 in San Francisco. The Toy Industry Association’s (TIA) Genius of Play initiative will be featured as an event sponsor.

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ITVS GE Adds New Classic Thunderbirds Partners Ahead of 50th Anniversary

Thunderbirds_monopoly3DLidwrapAs ITV Studios Global Entertainment (ITVS GE) gears up for the 50th anniversary of the TV series, Thunderbirds, in September, the licensor today unveiled details of toy partnerships to bolster the brand’s classic licensing program. ITVS GE is working with its partners to launch new lines of limited edition products targeting collectors and fans of the original series.

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Disney Store to Unveil New Collections and Limited Editions at D23 Expo

Anaheim Convention Center

Disney Store has all-new collections and limited editions set to launch at this year’s D23 Expo 2015, the Disney fan event held at the Anaheim Convention Center from August 14 to 16. Located within the Disney Consumer Products Pavilion at D23 Expo, the Disney Store shop will feature new and exclusive products, and will be unveiling new items celebrating favorite characters each day throughout the weekend.

Highlights of the new collections include:

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Mattel Teams Up with Autodesk for New Digital and 3-D Printing Experiences

logo_Mattel logoMattel and Autodesk Inc. have signed an exclusive agreement to power the Mattel toy line with cutting-edge 3-D design and 3-D printing technology. The joint initiative will provide an immersive experience by combining physical toys with digital adventures. An upcoming series of apps will empower consumers to imagine, design, and customize their own toys, as well as make the toys through 3-D printing.

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Q&A with Mattel: Social Media, 3-D Printing, and More

logo_Mattel logoThe Toy Book (TTB): In what new ways are you using social media to correspond directly with consumers?

Mattel: We engage with consumers across all brand and corporate social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, as well as retailer sites, like Wal-Mart and Kohl’s. At Mattel, we have a fully functioning reporting and engineering team dedicated to understanding what the consumer is saying and turning that data into actionable improvements for both our manufacturing and design process.

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Q&A with Tony Norman, Co-Founder, President and CEO, Innovation First International

Hexbug.TonyNormanThe Toy Book (TTB): How do you use 3-D printing in your R&D? Do you plan to incorporate 3-D printing into your consumer offerings in the future?

Tony Norman (TN): We have three commercial-grade 3-D printers at Hexbug headquarters that run pretty much continuously. Design is iterative, and our 3-D printers enable us to engage in rapid prototyping. This rapid prototyping allows us to get real working samples out to focus groups quickly and frequently, so as to gather feedback and make the necessary changes prior to starting production. This highly accelerated production process significantly reduces our time to market and sets us apart from other toy companies.
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Q&A with Laura Zebersky, CCO and EVP, Jazwares

Jazwares.LauraThe Toy Book (TTB): How have you seen consumer expectations change over the past decade?

Laura Zebersky (LZ): Over the past 10 years, the convergence of toys and entertainment has been unprecedented. Consumers have come to expect both online and offline experiences from their favorite brands. It’s not enough anymore to create a new toy. Stories, videos, and other content are needed to really engage kids and toy fans of all ages. This leads into another big change: If you want to reach consumers today, traditional formulas from years ago need to be augmented with strategies that include communication across multiple social platforms. Kids are engaging in new ways with different types of media; they might interact simply by sharing images and video of exciting new toys on various social channels or become avid fans and essentially create celebrities on YouTube. They want the whole experience, and the brands of tomorrow will have to provide it in accessible and innovative ways to stand out from the crowd.
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Q&A with Geoffrey Greenberg, Co-President, Just Play

JustPlay.GeoffreyGreenbergThe Toy Book (TTB): How do you use 3-D printing in your research and development? Will you incorporate 3-D printing into your consumer offerings in the future?

Geoffrey Greenberg (GG): We use 3-D printing extensively in our development process. The quick turnarounds enable for faster approvals and the ability to make changes as needed without a long wait. A designer can be much more precise when working with a printed sample, and it helps move the development process along more quickly. [Read more...]

Tech 4 Kids and Irwin Toy Brings the 3D Creation Maker to Toy Fair

3DMakerTech 4 Kids has partnered with Irwin Toy on the first kid-friendly 3D Creation Maker, which will appear in prototype form at North American International Toy Fair. Using an applicator with a unique gel, children trace a design onto a template that is inserted into the 3D Creation Maker. After 10 seconds, the gel turns into a solid, allowing kids to build multi-dimensional structures. Unlike other 3-D design systems, the patent pending process is done safely with light and not heat. The gel is available in multiple colors, including a special glow-in-the-dark formula, and the 3D Creation Maker comes with a variety of pre-designed templates.

The free downloadable 3D Magic App, available for both Android and iOS devices, lets kids create whatever structures they dream up, turning them into templates for use with the 3D Creation Maker.

Spielwarenmesse Kicks Off with Widest Offering Ever

SpielwarenmesseegThis year, Spielwarenmesse will kick off in Nuremberg with 2,857 exhibitors. The number represents 67 countries and the widest offering ever seen at the event, scheduled to take place from January 28 to February 2. Spielwarenmesse eG is expecting an estimated 75,000 trade visitors from more than 100 countries. [Read more...]