eKids Has Muppets Most Wanted Headphones in Time for New Film

MuppetsHeadphonesMuppets Most Wanted opens in theaters today, and to coincide, eKids has released Kermit the Frog-themed over-the-ear headphones featuring soft cushioning and an adjustable band for a customizable fit. The portable speakers securely hold an iPod in a lightweight zippered case, while the ear buds feature noise-isolating ear tips in a variety of sizes, and also include a travel pouch for added portability and inline volume control.

These accessories are available at eKids.com.

NPD Reports Xbox One and PlayStation 4 Powered Video Game Sales

According to the U.S. Games Industry Sales analysis by The NPD Group’s Liam Callahan, February hardware sales increased by 42 percent over the prior year, due to a more than 60 percent increase in console hardware sales. These strong year-over-year increases are due to the success of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

The analysis also showed that total video game sales in February were $887 million, a change of 9 percent compared to February 2013. This is credited to strong growth in hardware and a slight rise in accessory sales. Total software sales—across the console, portable, and PC categories—were [Read more...]

Alex Toys Expands Its Arts and Crafts Lines for Kids and Tweens

At the recent American International Toy Fair, Alex Toys showed off new products in its popular line of art supplies and art sets, and introduced new craft kits intended specifically for the tween market.

The extension in Alex Toys’ art line is intended to encourage creativity in open-ended ways, including a diverse selection of new art materials such as oil and chalk pastels, metallic pencils, glitter paint, sidewalk stencils, and acrylic paints.

The Ultimate Easel Accessories set comes with art supplies including poster paint, lidded paint cups, natural bristle brushes, paper roll, chalk, board markers, and board eraser. Meanwhile, the Color A Canvas, Mark It Up Canvas, and Paint A Canvas kits let kids create beautiful works of art with markers and paints on pre-printed canvases. Designs of varying complexity suit artists ranging from younger to older kids.

For its tween lines, Alex Toys is incorporating popular fashion design elements in its DIY kits. Along with extending its jewelry line with Spike Jewelry, Boho Bands, and Chain Bracelets, the company is also expanding its line of Alex Tech Couture accessory craft kits. New products include Duct Tape Tech for tablets and smart phone cases, Glam Rock Speakers, and Bling Headphones that give personality and texture to tech items through stickers, gems, and neon and patterned colors.

This year will also see the arrival of the Alex Spa collection for girls, and new party-sized spa and salon kits.

Kidada Jones, Soho Fashions Release My Little Pony Hair Extension, Accessory Collection

mylittleponyKidada Jones and Soho Fashions have teamed up with Hasbro Inc. to launch a collection of My Little Pony hair extensions and accessories sold at Soho Fashions mall kiosks nationwide. Kidada Jones has created a line that captures the magic of the My Little Pony brand. The Kidada for My Little Pony collection features an array of My Little Pony single- and multi-colored hair extensions, cutie marks accented with crystals, iconic character hair charms, and more. Soho Fashions trained stylists are available at each kiosk to “Ponyfy” fans with any purchase of the My Little Pony hair accessories or extensions. Fans can accessorize to look like their favorite pony characters from the hit animated series, produced by Hasbro Studios, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and airing on the Hub Network.

Fans can visit www.mylittleponyparlor.com for kiosk locations.

Motorworks Expands with New Cars, Play Sets, Accessories

ManhattanToy.Motorworks.convertibleMotorworks, from The Manhattan Toy Co., will expand its line next year with new models, a car trailer, and accessories. The vehicles are designed with a common, convertible chassis, which allows kids to choose between durable, snap-on parts and to customize in different ways.

The collection is comprised of three different trim levels: Street Series, Speed Series, and Extreme Series. Motorworks will attend next year’s American International Toy Fair with its latest offerings, all of which are suitable for kids ages 3 and up. [Read more...]

Icing Introduces Exclusive Monopoly-Inspired Collection

Icing.MonopolyIcing has teamed up with Hasbro to design a capsule collection of jewelry and accessories inspired by Hasbro’s popular Monopoly game. This exclusive collection is designed in metallic gold and bedazzled jewels, featuring chain link, beading, and glitter details on pieces including a charm bracelet, stud earrings, iPhone cases, wallets, makeup compacts, T-shirts, and rings.

To celebrate the launch and to encourage shoppers to showcase their “gaming” spirit, Icing will also launch an Instagram “Glam Game” promotional sweepstakes with a grand prize of a seven-day cruise for two on Carnival Cruise Lines. The sweepstakes encourages fans to express their unique sense of style by snapping and uploading a photo of themselves. Official Rules for the “Glam Game” sweepstakes can be found on Facebook.

The Beatrix Girls Makes Its Retail Debut at Toys “R” Us Stores Nationwide

TheBeatrixGirlsThe Beatrix Girls, a new line of collectible pop-star dolls driven by original music, is set to empower and inspire young girls nationwide with its retail debut this month at Toys “R” Us stores nationwide and online at Toysrus.com. Kids can collect their music, join their fan club, and vicariously live the fantasy of being a pop star through play.

The Beatrix Girls have already generated a huge amount of momentum securing early strategic deals with licensing partners such as Peavey Instruments, along with nine other licensing partners covering every major category, including apparel, accessories, back-to-school stationary, footwear, and more.

The Beatrix Girls collection of dolls is recommended for ages 5 and up.

Disney Celebrates The Little Mermaid Diamond Edition Blu-ray with New Product Collection

Ariel

Under the Sea Ariel, from Jakks Pacific

Disney Consumer Products has released a line of new products celebrating Disney Princess Ariel available now at national retailers timed with The Little Mermaid Diamond Edition Blu-ray release. The new collection features items for kids and collectors from dolls and role play to beauty and fashion.

The new line is featuring all new dolls, role play, apparel, accessories, beauty products, and home décor. It is available now at department and specialty retailers nationwide and at Disney Store locations and DisneyStore.com. [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: Homemade Accessories Are Now Easier Than Ever to Make!

It has become somewhat of a tradition along the South Shore of Long Island to sell bracelets and other accessories down by the beach boardwalks during the summer. I can vividly remember watching in delight as my older cousins worked ferociously to complete the bracelets, ankle bracelets, hair ties, and even necklaces they would sell for less than a dollar each. It wasn’t about making money, although a busy day was certainly a plus, it was about creating the accessories. They would allow me to sit with them on the spread out beach towels, which doubled as a makeshift bracelet display area, until I was old enough to start making and selling the bracelets myself. A few years later my younger sister followed suit, and now my six-year-old cousin and her friends are keeping the tradition alive, proving that no matter how many store bought bracelets and accessories there may be, nothing can really replace a handmade ones.

MyRibbonBarrette_open_leftThis is not to say that the bracelet and accessory making is easy. At times, in fact, it’s far from it. Depending on the difficulty of the braid or stitch you’re attempting to create, you could end up spending hours trying to perfect a single bracelet. Complications that typically arise during the process include the tangling up of excess material, which can sometimes result in what looks like a messy bracelet with a mind of its own, and usually always ends up in a frustrating de-tangling session. That’s why once I saw the new My Ribbon Barrette Maker, from the Choose Friendship Co., the makers of the My Friendship Bracelet Maker, I knew immediately that I had to test it out, since barrettes were definitely merchandise that could be found on those beach towel years ago. [Read more...]

John Deere Celebrates 175th Birthday

This year, John Deere celebrates its 175th anniversary. With this milestone anniversary, the company is announcing several new products, including Mega Bloks, for boys ages 3 and up; the Uncle Milton ant farm; hand protection, for gardening, from West Chester; and a line of clothing.

This post was originally written by Gigi Rubin and published by ToyBook.com. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.