Alex Brands Buys French Toymaker Juratoys

AlexBrandsAlex Brands has acquired French toymaker Juratoys, marking the toy company’s first move into Europe. Juratoys, the parent company of European toy brands Janod and Kaloo, is based in Orgelet, France, and has offices in the U.K., the U.S., Hong Kong, and China. The news was reported by Propel Equity Partners, which backs Alex Brands.

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COMMENTARY: Toy Shoppers Have More Tools at Their Disposal than Ever

ToyBooklogoToday’s toy shopping experience has become a combination—or choice—of in-person browsing, online price comparisons, and research in a way we’d previously never seen before the dawn of the smartphone. Gone are the days of browsing the aisles of a single store, limited to its inventory and prices. Competitors used to be a trip or a phone call away, and often, shoppers didn’t have the time or desire to drive around town in search of a slightly lower price.

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Amazon.com Launches STEM Toys & Games Store

Amazon.com today launched its STEM Toys & Games Store, a single destination for discovering products that are meant to help children of all ages develop science, technology, engineering, and math-related skills.

STEM was the second most-visited category, as well as the second highest in terms of sales volume for Amazon during the most recent holiday season.

WIT Presents Awards to Women Leaders at Annual Wonder Women in Toys, Licensing, and Entertainment Dinner

WIT.logoWomen leaders were honored by more than 500 industry executives at the 11th Annual Wonder Women in Toys, Licensing, and Entertainment (WIT) Awards Dinner, which took place on Sunday night. Hosted by WIT, and coinciding with the North American International Toy Fair in New York City, the gala awarded winners from more than 40 distinguished nominees from around the world. WIT also presented Special Honoree Awards to executives from Sesame Workshop, amazon.com, and Disney Consumer Products. [Read more...]

Q&A with Eva Lorenz, Category Leader, Amazon Toys & Games

Eva Lorenz, AmazonThe Toy Book (TTB): How are you engaging consumers to drive sales?

Eva Lorenz (EL): Amazon customers, particularly busy parents, appreciate having the ability to shop on their own time and from the comfort of their own home or while on-the-go using a mobile device. They also love having access to the largest selection of products and all the information they needcomprehensive product details, high-resolution images, video content, and customer reviews–to make informed purchasing decisions. We consistently deliver on these promises to customers, which has earned their trust and keeps them coming back to shop on Amazon. [Read more...]

Arklu Adds Kite Flyer Finn, a Playtime Pal for Boys

KiteFlyerFinnArklu has launched Kite Flyer Finn, a boy doll designed as a playtime buddy that boys can relate to. He has a realistic, childlike body shape, and promotes wholesome, gun-free play values.

Finn’s accessories include cargo shorts, a star-themed long sleeve t-shirt, a puffer gilet, sneakers, and a diamond-shaped kite. Arklu has launched some accessory kits for Finn, including the Gone Fishing Set and a soon-to-be-released Scooter Set.

Finn’s clothes fit both him and Lottie dolls, allowing boys and girls to break gender stereotypes and letting kids be kids. Finn is available at www.lottie.com and www.amazon.com.

Fisher-Price Enters Global Collaboration with Shakira and The Barefoot Foundation for Best Possible Start Campaign

shakiraIn a global partnership centered on early childhood development, Fisher-Price Inc. has partnered with singer Shakira—who is also a mother and philanthropist—and the Barefoot Foundation to create a web series for moms and co-develop a new line of babygear and toys.

The program targets millennials, who make up 80 percent of today’s first-time moms. The collaboration, which is focused on sharing opinions and recommendations with other moms, kicks off today with a 12-part web series featuring Shakira’s personal reflections on what her baby has taught her about herself. Other topics include the importance of early childhood development, looking at the world through a child’s eyes, facilitating milestones, and her hopes for raising a future philanthropist.

Segments also celebrate babies’ activity and growth, as well as Shakira’s own parenting journey from a very personal mom-to-mom point of view. The series will be distributed exclusively over digital to 23 countries at one time, delivered via branded social channels and supported with paid media. The content will live within a microsite, which will contain product information on her First Steps Collection, the new Babygear, and infant line of toys Fisher-Price co-developed with Shakira.

Fisher-Price Shakira First Steps Collection Kick & Play Piano Gym

Available in the U.S. exclusively at amazon.com as well as fisher-price.com, Shakira’s introductory spring line of co-developed Fisher-Price baby gear and toys will include the following: [Read more...]

Fireman Sam to Be Sold Exclusively at Amazon

FiremanSamFireman Sam, a HIT Entertainment product, will now be sold exclusively at amazon.com. Episodic content, apps, and eBooks launched on June 3, while the physical products will launch in October of this year.

“This new agreement takes Fireman Sam fans through the entire consumer journey from first engaging with the brand through content on their Kindle Fire or Amazon Fire TV to fulfilling the demand for a deeper brand experience via books, toys and more,” said Sid Mathur, vice-president of HIT Entertainment, the Americas.

Funko’s Game of Thrones Pop! Bundle Giveaway Is On!

FunkobundleStarting today, and through Sunday at 11:59 p.m. PST, Funko is running a giveaway for its Game of Thrones Amazon-exclusive Pop! bundles. Two winners will be selected. Fans can access the contest and find out more information through Funko’s Facebook page.

Currently available for pre-order at amazon.com, the Game of Thrones Amazon Exclusive Pop! Bundles are packaged in variations based on two of the series’ most popular characters: Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen. Both bundles come with a 100-percent cotton black T-shirt with the character in Pop! form printed on the front; a 3.75-inch Pop! Vinyl figure, and a 1.5-inch Pop! key chain.

Famosa Introduces New Pinypon and Nenuco Products

PinyPonFamosa has created three new play sets for the spring season, all suitable for kids ages 3 and up. The Pinypon AquaPark Adventure features a working water slide, a jacuzzi that makes bubbles, and a lazy river ride with a wave maker and inner tubes. The set also comes with a rare curly haired PinyPon that changes color in the water. The AquaPark Adventure is available on amazon.com and in stores.

The Nenuco Bath Time play set includes a soft-bodied doll with fast dry material, specifically made for fun in the bathtub. It also comes with bath toys and an inner tube. The product is on sale nationwide, including at Toys “R” Us and amazon.com. The Nenuco Let’s Play School play set comes with a doll dressed in a school theme complete with lesson plans, a desk for the doll, and matching teacher and doll glasses. It is for sale at walmart.com, amazon.com, and both national chains and online.