China Toy Fair


New Amazon Fire HD Kids Edition Tablet Available for Pre-Order

FireHDKidsOn Wednesday, Amazon introduced the Fire HD Kids Edition in both 6-inch and 7-inch tablet sizes. This children’s tablet comes with a two-year guarantee, as well as a year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, which provides access to books, movies, TV shows, educational apps, and games featuring characters such as Harry Potter, Lightning McQueen, Dora the Explorer, and more.

The Fire HD Kids Edition features a quad-core processor, a vivid HD display, front- and rear-facing cameras, Dolby Digital audio, and access to Amazon’s content ecosystem of more than 33 million movies, TV shows, songs, books, Android apps, and games. The Fire HD Kids Edition also comes with Amazon FreeTime, which offers parental controls that encourage learning before play and that help manage screen time.

The Fire HD Kids Edition is now available for pre-order and will start shipping in October.

Not a Hoax! Not a Dream! Marvel Launches Month-Long National Celebration: Marvel Super Hero September!

SuperHeroSeptemberDisney Consumer Products and Marvel have teamed up for Marvel Super Hero September, a national multi-platform campaign that encourages the public to, “power up like a Marvel super hero.” This month-long celebration features retail partnerships, licensing partners, advertising, and online activations. The strategy is on behalf of the Marvel brand, as both Marvel and its characters celebrate 75 years of history.

“This stands as one of the largest non-film campaigns in Marvel history and we’re looking forward to seeing how kids, fans, parents, and adults will celebrate their passion for Marvel,” said Josh Silverman, executive vice president, global licensing, Disney Consumer Products.

The central hub for Marvel Super Hero September is a new online portal, superheroseptember.marvel.com, which houses content and activities, including a national photo sweepstakes contest supported by select national retailers. Marvel is also re-launching marvelkids.com with additional content. [Read more...]

Jenga Goes Big with New Jenga Giant

Jenga GiantJengaGiant, a new giant counterpart to Jenga, will debut on Amazon and with other retailers this month. Manufactured and distributed by Art’s Ideas, it will weigh a total of 17 lbs. and can stack up to three feet and higher. Jenga Giant uses the same rules as Classic Jenga and comes with 54 precision-cut, polished hardwood blocks, as well as a box designed to be both a game platform and for storage and transport. [Read more...]

VTech Taps Jennifer Eiselein to Lead Marketing Team

VTech-LogoVTech has hired Jennifer Eiselein, a former Amazon senior manager who was instrumental in the launches of the company’s Kindle tablets and e-readers, as its new marketing director. She will lead VTech’s marketing team from its U.S. headquarters in Chicago, oversee the creation and execution of innovative campaigns for VTech’s brands, employ strategies to generate brand awareness, and target customers to enhance growth in key markets.

Prior to joining VTech, Eiselein served as senior manager for merchandising and marketing at Amazon’s Appstore in the U.S. and Canada.

VTech’s Kidizoom Smartwatch Includes Built-In Camera and More

VTech Smartwatch Release FINAL[4]Today, VTech launched its first ever camera watch for kids: the Kidizoom Smartwatch. The world’s first smartwatch for kids, its features include a built-in camera, video, and photo effects. The Kidizoom Smartwatch also has a 1.4-inch color touch screen, more than 50 digital and analog clock displays that help kids learn to tell time, a rechargeable battery, alarm clock, timer, stopwatch, voice recorder with funny voice changing effects, and parental game controls.

Since it is made for kids, the Kidizoom Smartwatch features a durable design to withstand drops and bumps, and is splash and sweat proof. In addition, the Kidizoom Smartwatch is PC and Mac compatible for uploading photos, videos, and recorded voice files, and offers access to VTech’s Learning Lodge app store.

The Kidizoom Smartwatch is recommended for kids ages 4 and up, and is available now at www.vtechkids.com, amazon.com, target.com, toysrus.com, and walmart.com.

Dora and Friends: Into the City! Debuts in Primetime this August

DAF_Group_ShotDora and Friends: Into the City! will premiere in primetime on Monday, August 18, at 8:00 p.m. on Nickelodeon. The half-hour series will regularly air on weekdays during Nickelodeon’s preschool block. The original Dora the Explorer series will continue to air.

The new series takes place in the fictional city of Playa Verde, where Dora and her new friends will go on adventures. It features an interactive curriculum focusing on community service, problem solving, emotional skills, the Spanish language, and Latino culture. Throughout her journeys, Dora will use the Map App on her smartphone and a magical charm bracelet to navigate the city and overcome obstacles. Her new group of friends includes Kate, an avid reader who is dramatic and artistic; Naiya, a smart girl who excels at math and science; Emma, a driven and accomplished musician; Alana, an athletic soccer player and animal lover; and Pablo, a smart, playful, energetic athlete and explorer. [Read more...]

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Licensed Products Set to Explode at Retail

guardians of the galaxy poster 2. jpgToy manufacturers including Hasbro, Lego, and Kiddesigns have developed a wide range across key product categories inspired by Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, which arrives in theaters on August 1. Products include Hasbro’s 10-inch electronic figure, Lego’s The Milano Spaceship Rescue construction set, Funko’s vinyl bobble heads, Rubies Costume Co.’s and Disguise‘s Star-Lord and Rocket Raccoon costumes, and more.

To date, Guardians of the Galaxy has received major mass retailer commitment, including a cross-category pallet program at Wal-Mart, top placement for Hasbro and Lego’s toy lines in all key accounts, and a heavily promoted party goods program with Party City. The Guardians of the Galaxy merchandising program will benefit from Marvel Studios‘ major marketing push for the film that will hit full force beginning later this month.

Goodbaby Acquires Evenflo, Deal Will Keep Jobs in Ohio

The Evenflo Co. has signed an agreement to be acquired by Goodbaby International Holdings Limited. Goodbaby is principally engaged in the design, research and development, manufacturing, marketing, and sale of durable juvenile products. The agreement is definitive and binding pending Goodbaby shareholder approval, which should take place within 45 days.

Evenflo principally engages in the design, research and development, manufacturing, marketing, and sale of Evenflo, Exersaucer, and Snugli branded juvenile products. Its portfolio includes play yards and stationary activity centers to go with car seats, travel systems, safety gates, high chairs, and more. Evenflo brands are sold at key retailers such as Wal-Mart, Toys “R” Us, Target, and Amazon. [Read more...]

Cybertron Monday Kicks Off Transformers: Age of Extinction Toy Line

CybertronMonday.TransformerspanelToday isn’t just any old Monday, but Cybertron Monday, a global event tied to the upcoming blockbuster, Transformers: Age of Extinction from Paramount Pictures. Cybertron Monday marks the launch of an all-new action figure line from Hasbro Inc., as well as licensed products based on the feature film, through participating online retailers including Amazon, Target, Toys “R” Us, Walmart, and Kmart. Fans can visit www.CybertronMonday.com for more information on where products will be available.

Hasbro’s Transformers Official Movie App, available now for download on iTunes and Google Play, features galleries stocked with movie and toy photography and videos, character bios, as well as the ability to engage in weekly app “missions.” Fans can also view exclusive Transformers: Age of Extinction cast interviews. As the film’s release date approaches, the app will be updated to include movie ticket purchasing, augmented reality features, new photography and videos, and the ability for users to build their own Transformers Construct-bot figure.

TIA Releases Details on PlayCon 2014 Sessions

Digital experts from Google/YouTube, Amazon, RocketHub, and Tongal will present their insights on connecting with 21st century kids and moms, crowdsourcing, and crowdfunding at PlayCon 2014, the Toy Industry Association’s (TIA) International Conference of Play Professionals. The event is scheduled to take place from May 7 to 9 at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Ariz.

“Growing Up Digital: Creating, Consuming, Connecting” will feature Katie Rottier, head of U.S. industry, sports & toys, at Google/YouTube. “Amazon: Key Customer, Marketing Partner, Platform for Customer Engagement, or All Three,” will be presented by Eva Lorenz, category leader for Amazon’s Toys & Games store. For “Get Out of the Box—Get Into the Crowd!” Brian Meece, CEO of RocketHub, and Caleb Light-Wills, senior vice president of product at Tongal, will provide an in-depth look at crowdsourcing and crowdfunding.

Full agenda details, as well as hotel and registration information, can be found at the TIA website.