Sweet Suite 2016

Amazon Introduces New Original Music from The Pop Ups and Lisa Loeb

unnamed-1Amazon customers and Amazon Prime members in the U.S. and U.K. now have access to original children’s music with the debut of two new children’s albums— Great Pretenders Club by The Pop Ups and Nursery Rhyme Parade! by Lisa Loeb.

Both albums are available for exclusive, unlimited ad-free listening on Prime Music for Amazon Prime members. Both albums are also available for purchase in download and CD format. [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: Positive Outlook for 2016

After attending the TIA’s Fall Toy Preview in Dallas a couple of weeks ago, I feel confident that 2016 is going to be an even better year for the toy industry. While the show floor seemed quieter than in years past, the majority of companies I met with were upbeat and excited for holiday 2015 and the year ahead. A number of my meetings were cut short due to drop-ins by Walmart, Amazon, Target, and Toys “R” Us buyers, which is always a good sign.

The industry is expected to be up approximately 6 percent this year, and I expect this success to carry over to 2016. I saw a higher than usual number of new lines, and interesting expansions of successful products, proving that manufacturers are riding high on the wings of rising sales, leaving them willing and able to take some risks. [Read more...]

Playmation Marvel’s Avengers Available for Pre-Order at Canadian Retailers

PlaymationThis past week, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media (DCPI), along with Hasbro Inc., announced the pre-sale of Playmation Marvel’s Avengers at select Canadian retailers. A new system of toys and wearables, Playmation Marvel’s Avengers utilizes smart technology to inspire kids to run around and use their imaginations, as they become the heroes or heroines of stories from Marvel’s Avengers.

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TIA’s Fall Toy Preview to Remain at Dallas Market Center through 2018

TIA LogoThe Toy Industry Association (TIA) Executive Committee and Board have announced that Fall Toy Preview will stay in Dallas through 2018. The event is scheduled to take place on the following dates: September 27 to 29, 2016; September 26 to 28, 2017; and September 25 to 27, 2018.

[Read more...]

Stikbot, from Zing, Uses App to Create, Animate, and Share Stop-Motion Videos

Zing Toy StikbotZing has launched Stikbot, which features a poseable figure with suction cup hands and feet that adhere to almost any flat surface. A free mobile app available on iOS and Android, StikBot Studio, allows users to snap individual photos and stitch them together into a stop-motion film.

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Sesame Street to Begin Airing First on HBO

SesameStreetAs reported by various news outlets including The New York Times, Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit group behind the children’s television program, Sesame Street, has struck a deal with HBO that will bring the show’s next five seasons to the premium cable network and its streaming outlets beginning this fall.

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Bratz Relaunches with New Look and Digital Content

MGA Entertainment Bratz ReturnsMGA Entertainment (MGAE) has re-launched Bratz, which returns to stores with a new brand mantra: It’s good to be yourself; it’s good to be Bratz.

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KidKraft Acquired by MidOcean Partners

kidkraft logoMidOcean Partners has acquired KidKraft Inc., whose innovative portfolio includes dollhouses, play kitchens, wooden toy trains, children’s furniture, and other products. Its items are carried by Amazon, Wal-Mart, Toys “R” Us, Target, as well as independent toy stores.

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Little Heroes Launches Indiegogo Campaign for Herokins

Herokins, from Little Heroes Technologies, is a line of wearable smart toys that foster shared experiences between parents and children. Herokins celebrates the adventure of learning through engaging StoryQuests that intrinsically motivate children to gain their independence while staying safe. The line features a mobile app, as well as two Bluetooth-enabled action figures, Axel McRed and Dr. Rose, which guide users on adventures that strengthen family bonds and facilitate learning.

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Playmation Marvel’s Avengers Now Available for Pre-Order

Playmation,MarvelAvengersPlaymation Marvel’s Avengers, from Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media (DCPI) and Hasbro Inc., is now available for pre-sale from select retailers. The Playmation Marvel’s Avengers Starter Pack, Smart Figures, and Prowler Bot are available to pre-order online at amazon.com, bestbuy.com, gamestop.com, target.com, toysrus.com, and walmart.com, as well as disneystore.com and at select Disney Store locations in the U.S. and Canada.

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