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.

PowerA Releases Skylanders Swap Force Licensed Accessories

SkylandersPowerA

PowerA, an industry leader in video game and mobility accessories, has announced the availability of new accessories for the game Skylanders Swap Force. PowerA has been making accessories for Skylanders franchise for the last three years. With storage solutions that double as play sets, to high-quality third party video game controllers, PowerA has something for every Skylanders fan.

The new accessories and cases include:

These Skylanders Swap Force accessories, and more storage, transport, and mobility cases are available at major retailers including Amazon.com, Best Buy, Fred Meyer, Target, Toys”R”Us, Walmart and more.

Amav Introduces Sweet Art

image002Kids can now make their art, and eat it too, with Amav’s Sweet Art. The soft dough modeling kits allow children to make and decorate their own unique creations using rolling utensils and other crafting tools designed for small hands. The sugar dough is safe to eat (FDA-approved) and comes in several colors and flavors like strawberry, lemon, and chocolate.

The Ice Cream Maker allows kids to create their own Sweet Art ice cream shop complete with a serving station, and the Party Pack comes with an array of shaping utensils ideal for birthdays and family get-togethers. Other smaller kits feature themes such as animals, popsicles, and other treats. Intended for kids ages 6 an up, this new edible toy can be purchased at Toys “R” Us, amazon.com, Bed Bath and Beyond, and Kmart.

All Things Equal Launches Klondike Bar Game

Klondike-ComponentsAll Things Equal, maker of the Loaded Questions and Awkward Family Photos games, has partnered with Klondike for the new board game, What Would You Do for a Klondike Bar? The game dares families and friends to conquer hundreds of creative, courageous, and cockamamie challenges in the name of the slogan.

The 300 head-to-head challenges require quick thinking, creativity, and a willingness to laugh at yourself and with others. Players will find themselves asking for a date while grunting like a caveman, coming up with a funny new use for bacon, quickly answering a provocative trivia question or completing an absurd trivial act for a chance to win one of the six Klondike bar flavors needed to win the game. The reward for besting fellow players is a take-home champion card and bragging rights. The What Would You Do for a Klondike Bar? board game is now available at Amazon.com, and will debut at Fred Meyer, select Target and Toys “R” Us locations, and specialty stores later this year.

 

Sales Tax Legislation Affecting Online Retailers Could Pass Later this Year

Sales tax legislation that would eliminate the perceived competitive advantage that online sellers have had over traditional brick-and-mortar retailers could pass Congress by the close of this year.

The Senate’s Marketplace Fairness Act (S.1832) and its House companion, the Marketplace Equity Act (H.R. 3179), aim to give states the authority to collect sales tax from online and catalog retailers (i.e. “remote” sellers), provided that states simplify their tax codes to make it easier for retailers to collect sales tax at the time of transaction.

Since the 1992 Supreme Court ruling Quill v. North Dakota, states have not been able to require retailers to collect sales tax unless the seller has a physical presence in the state. Under the Marketplace Fairness and Marketplace Equity Acts, states seeking the authority to collect sales tax from remote retailers can sign onto the SSUTA or adopt the simplification mandates included in the bill.

The legislation has received strong bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate, as well as widespread support from 55 national trade associations, 95 state and local trade associations, and 85 companies, including online retailers Amazon.com, Buy.com, Walmart, and Sears Holdings Corp.  Critics–including the Electronic Retailing Association and a coalition of e-commerce and online companies–argue that the bill would allow states to impose a new tax that would be burdensome on e-commerce and consumers due to variations between tax jurisdictions.  They argue that the simplification of state tax laws called for in the bill will not alleviate burdens nor will the potential tax revenue stream (estimated at well below one percent of total state and local tax revenue) justify the expense of implementation.

Because e-commerce retailers do not collect sales tax, the price of a product purchased online is often cheaper than the price of the same product at a brick-and-mortar store.  This disparity impacts both retailers and their vendors as buyers for a physical store try to remain price competitive by requesting vendors to lower their price for the product.

This post was originally written by the Toy Industry Association and published at ToyAssociation.org. 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.

Report: Target Has the Best Social Media Presence Among Retailers

According to a new survey by L.E.K. Consulting, as reported by Internet Retailer, Target Corp. has the best social media presence among retailers. Target took the top spot with 8.5 percent, followed by Amazon.com (8 percent), Walmart (5.4 percent), Best Buy (4 percent), and Macy’s (4 percent). L.E.K surveyed 2,000 U.S. consumers, but did not say when the survey took place or define what constituted a strong social media presence.

[Read more...]