MidOcean 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.
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.
Playmation 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.
Kids and parents can now experience Playmation Marvel’s Avengers for the first time at participating Disney Store locations, where two- and five-minute training sessions are available daily. For those who want to take part in an expanded experience, 30-minute Avengers Gear Orientations are available on Saturdays and Sundays by reservation only. During the longer Avenger Gear Orientation, kids and parents can learn more about the Avenger Gear, follow instructions from JARVIS, and interact with other participants to complete missions and adventures.
Roughly a week after its launch, Little Charmers: Sparkle Up has taken the No. 1 spot for downloaded iPad apps in the App Store on iTunes across the U.S. and Canada. The first app for the Little Charmers brand, Little Charmers: Sparkle Up is a free download for tablets and smartphones that will be available on Amazon and Google Play this month. So far, it has garnered more than 100,000 downloads in the U.S. and Canada.
Toymail Co., the creator of Mailmen toys and the Toymail app for iOS and Android, has received an investment by Amazon from the Alexa Fund and plans to integrate the Alexa Voice Service into its messaging platform for kids. Toymail will use the investment from the Alexa Fund for product research and to scale its SAS footprint.
Canal Toys is putting a new spin on selfies with its soon-to-be released selfie kits for tweens, teens, and families. The Selfie Photo Fun kits include a selfie stick, themed photo booth props, and a wireless remote in select sets. The kits transform a typical selfie into a creative photo shoot experience.
Today’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.
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.