Funko Has Guardians of the Galaxy in Pop! and Wacky Wobbler Figures

Funko.StarLordFunko will have Marvel‘s Guardians of the Galaxy–the spacefaring team coming to theaters on August 1–available in both Pop! and Wacky Wobbler form in time for the film’s release. Pop! figures will include Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon, Groot, Drax, and Gamora. The Wacky Wobbler figures will feature bobble-heads of Star-Lord, and Rocket Raccoon.

An unmasked Star-Lord will be available exclusively at amazon.com.

Toy Fair 2014 Shows Increase in Attendees, Double-Digit Rise in International Visitors

Last week’s American International Toy Fair in New York City drew nearly 26,500 toy professionals from 94 countries, and boasted a record-breaking 414,060 net square feet of exhibit space. According to the Toy Industry Association (TIA), Toy Fair 2014 also welcomed an 11 percent surge in international buyers, an 8 percent rise in exhibitors, and a 5 percent spike in overall attendees, bringing the total attendance to 26,493.

There was an estimated 1,153 exhibiting manufacturers, distributors, importers, and sales agents, and nearly 10,000 buyers from more than 5,000 retail outlets, including delegations from Amazon, Target, and Toys “R” Us. Members of top press outlets including Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, and The New York Times scouted top toy trends.

Next year’s Toy Fair has been scheduled for February 14 to 17, and will once again take place at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Show information will be available in the coming months at www.ToyFairNY.com.

Hasbro, Amazon Team Up Offers First Action Figure for Transformers: Age of Extinction

Feb3.TransformersHasbro and Amazon have partnered to offer the first official merchandise inspired by the movie Transformers: Age of Extinction. Amazon’s Transformers Headquarters Shop is now live on its website and features the first action figure available for purchase from Hasbro’s Transformers: Age of Extinction line.

The first product of the line is the Transformers First Edition Optimus Prime action figure. The figure converts from robot to vehicle and includes new metallic embellishes, rubber tires, and is styled in the way the character will look in the movie. The product is also No. 14 in the numbered line of Thrilling 30 action figures celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Transformers brand this year. It is available exclusively on amazon.com before the broader toy line becomes available in May. 

Encyclopedia Britannica Launches Britannica Kids touchTab

BritannicaKidstouchTab

Encyclopedia Britannica, in partnership with Tek Nek Toys Inc., has launched its first interactive Britannica Kids touchTab. The touchTab is an educational tablet that inspires kids to learn interesting facts about various subjects with hands-on interactive play and quizzes to test knowledge.

Encyclopedia Britannica has found a way to engage young audiences while promoting knowledge and learning.  The touchTab comes with three content-rich cartridges, North American Mammals, Australian Mammals and African Mammals. Additional themed sets include Exploring Space, Incredible Earth, Amazing Ocean Life, and Days of the Dinosaur. The themed sets are sold separately.

Each cartridge contains more than 200 facts and questions, allowing children to explore three levels of content by answering questions in the Challenge Mode and unlocking new levels of difficulty. Children engage with the touchTab by pressing the various topics on the cartridges revealing educational audio content. The touchTab capitalizes on prestigious sources to insure that accurate information is presented in a fun and engaging method. [Read more...]

Snoopy Sno-Cone Machines Recalled Due to Risk of Mouth Injury

SnoopySnoConeMachineCra-Z-Art Snoopy Sno-Cone Machines with one of three batch numbers–BCH003005A28-0812, BCHTRU001A17-0812, or BCHTRU004A16-0712—printed on the back of the white plastic doghouse and on the side of the box have been recalled. A brass rivet can fall out of the sno-cone machine’s ice-shaving cylinder and into a sno-cone, posing a risk of injury to the mouth or teeth.

The plastic sno-cone machines are white in the shape of a doghouse with a red roof and red shovel. Snoopy is on the doghouse and Charlie Brown and Lucy images are on the front along with a snowman. A metal ice-shaving cylinder in the middle of the sno-cone machine dispenses ice shavings out of the front. The words “Snoopy” and “Sno-Cones” are on the front of the machine, and “Cra-Z-Art” is on the back.

LaRose Industries LLC has received 64 reports of brass rivets falling out of the sno-cone machine’s ice-shaving cylinder, but no injuries have been reported. Consumers should stop using the recalled sno-cone machines immediately and contact LaRose Industries for a free repair kit, which includes a new ice shaving cylinder. The recalled sno-cone machines should not be returned to the store where purchased.

The machines were sold at Barnes & Noble, Target, and Toys “R” Us stores nationwide and online at www.amazon.com from September 2012 through July of this year.

Toy Industry Veteran Writes Thriller Novel

Book Cover PhotoThe Deadliest Game, Hal Ross’s new thriller novel published by Titletown Publising LLC, incorporates Ross’s 35 years of toy industry experience in this suspenseful crime narrative. In the frightening tale, protagonist Blair Mulligan must make a decision between saving the life of his own daughter and the lives of thousands of other children after a terrorist plot against U.S. toy consumers.

Readers will get an exclusive insider’s perspective of the competitive toy business in The Deadliest Game, which will be released on November 6. Ross has even teamed up with the advertising agency Creative Bube Tube to market the novel through social media, TV, and various contests with awards to range from a Kindle Fire, signed copies of the book, and an Amazon gift card.

Cupcake Digital Develops Yo Gabba Gabba! App Series for Preschoolers

yogabbagabba

DHX Media has selected Cupcake Digital Inc. to develop a new series of kids’ apps featuring the characters from Yo Gabba Gabba!. Cupcake Digital will create deluxe activity apps designed for kids ages 5 and under.

The first Cupcake Digital Yo Gabba Gabba! app will launch this winter, as part of DHX Media’s comprehensive Yo Gabba Gabba! marketing and licensing strategy, which kicks off with the first live holiday tour and A Very Awesome Yo Gabba Gabba! Christmas DVD, featuring two original episodes, “A Very Awesome Christmas Special” and “Christmas.”

The app is inspired by the tune “There’s a Party in My Tummy.” The app will feature DJ Lance Rock and Brobee, Foofa, Muno, Plex, and Toodee. The activities within the app offer a variety of creative and imaginative ways for kids to learn about healthy foods and encourage kids to try them. The app will be available day-and-date on iTunes, AmazonGoogle Play, and the Barnes & Noble for Nook store.

Swedish Dollhouse Company Lundby Returns to North America

Lundby dockskåp. MikkiAfter a decade-long absence, the classic Swedish dollhouse brand Lundby is returning to the North American market. Lundby, a subsidiary of Sweden’s Micki, plans to begin selling its dollhouses through amazon.com and specialty toy stores.

The brand is well-known for following trends in fashion and home décor, and for capturing snapshots of different eras with historical accuracy. Each doll house represents a dream house in miniature format scale 1:18. Lundby was the first dollhouse brand in the world to utilize “plug and play” electric lighting, and its more recent dollhouses feature pre-wired, child-safe, 5-volt lighting systems.

Ticket to Ride Offers In-App Purchase of Physical Games on Kindle Fire

Days of Wonder has released a new digital version of their award-winning game Ticket to Ride for Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet. Days of Wonder’s updated app incorporates Amazon’s new Mobile Associates API for in-app purchasing of physical goods, providing customers a new kind of immersive retail experience where they can acquire the tabletop board game while playing the digital version, and have their purchase delivered directly to their doorstep. Days of Wonder brings together their top-rated sales in both physical and digital gaming for this five-star rated game that is a consistent seller in Amazon’s Toys & Games Store.

Exclusively on the Kindle Fire, customers can also purchase physical versions of Ticket to Ride and any of its numerous expansions, from directly within the app and have the corresponding physical game delivered straight to their homes. To celebrate the launch of this feature that ties the digital and cardboard versions of the game together, the Kindle version of Ticket to Ride even includes some new custom wooden score markers for the board game, that customers can purchase with a single tap from within the app.

Customers can find Ticket to Ride for Kindle Fire here. Digital versions of Ticket to Ride are also available for iOS, Steam, and Google Play.

Michael Janisch Offers Acoustic Jazz For Babies

Picture 4Musician Michael Janisch has produced an array of slow and acoustic musical covers as part of five albums called Jazz For Babies. In favor of real acoustic instruments performed by world class musicians, the albums are titled: The Saxophone Album, The Guitar Album, The Piano Album, The Trumpet Album, and The Vibraphone Album. The song lists on these albums are intended to appeal to every generation and cover a wide array of the classics, such as the Jackson 5′s “I’ll Be There,” played with a mix of double bass and grand piano. On the same album, “Moon River” and “Just The Way You Are” round out the 15-track playlist.

Jazz For Babies currently consists of five 15-track albums that gift givers and parents-to-be can sample online. Parents can order direct from www.JazzForBabies.org, Amazon, or the iTunes store.