Sweet Suite 2016

Uglydoll Collaborates with KISS for New Plush Line

KissPlushUglydoll has partnered with the rock band KISS to create a global, co-branded set of plush collectibles. The KISS Uglydoll collaboration was previewed at Licensing Expo in Las Vegas last June and will officially debut at the American International Toy Fair in February. The collection will include plush dolls, from Gund, featuring Uglydoll dressed as KISS band members: Ox as The Demon, Babo as The Starchild, Big Toe as The Catman, and Wage as The Spaceman.

The dolls are expected to arrive in stores in March.

Kids Preferred Debuts Little Artists, Musicians Lines Featuring The World of Eric Carle

EricCarleEaselThis spring, Kids Preferred will debut two new collections of toys from The World of Eric Carle. The Little Artist Collection features artistic toys and accessories that offer young artists the chance to paint the world as they see it, while the Little Musician Collection helps budding little musicians create notes, rhythms, and tunes all their own.

The World of Eric Carle line has The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Carle’s best-selling children’s book, as its centerpiece. Both the Little Artist and Little Musician Collections will debut at the American International Toy Fair in February.

The Little Artist Collection includes a wooden easel with a paper roll, paint cups, and magnets, including a chalkboard and a dry erase board; an art smock /apron with vinyl pockets; and a splat mat/floor cover with a colorful design that absorbs paints and spills. [Read more...]

FS USA Announces Its New Name Is MegaFun USA

Fabricas Selectas USA, a manufacturer of glass toy marbles, wood marble games, and other toys, officially becomes MegaFun USA, effective next year. The ownership has not changed, but the new name is viewed as better representing the company’s product line and services. MegaFun USA will exhibit its new FunTime Inflation Station and Inflate-A-Balls at next year’s American International Toy Fair in New York City.

Women in Toys Collaborates with Walmart at Toy Fair 2014

WIT.WalmartWomen in Toys (WIT) and Walmart will once again collaborate to help women-owned businesses pitch children’s products and brands to Walmart buyers at the 111th annual American International Toy Fair in New York City in February.

Scheduled for February 18, the Second Annual WIT-Walmart Women’s Global Economic Empowerment Initiative will kick off with a morning panel discussion featuring Raquel Taylor and Kelly Deimel of Bobo Buddy. Immediately following the panel presentation, by-appointment-only pitch meetings between women-owned toy companies and Walmart buyers will take place in Room 1C01 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

Companies that would like to apply for Walmart pitch meetings must complete the online application form by December 30. Accepted applicants will be notified by February 1. More information is available through Patti Becker at PBecker@BeckerAssoc.com or at (203) 321-6813.

UPDATE: Women in Toys says it has “received an anonymous offer from a mentor who has promised to consider an investment in a company whose products are accepted by Walmart.”

The Young Scientists Club Turns 15

YoungScientistsClubTo celebrate its 15th anniversary, The Young Scientists Club will add new kits inspired by the importance of science, technology, engineering, and math (S.T.E.M.) education. The company will show off the new kits, which feature The Magic School Bus and Clifford the Big Red Dog, at February’s American International Toy Fair.

The Magic School Bus Math Explosion features a volcano that kids can explode by getting their math facts correct, while The Magic School Bus Engineering Lab lets kids build a solar oven, design a car, construct a bridge, create solar energy, and more. Clifford Animal Science includes a colorful lab tray, measuring cup, and magnifying glass for kids to perform experiments in animal science. Finally, Clifford Food Science guides young scientists through tasty experiments with catchy titles, such as rainbow ice and ice cream in a bag.


Toy Fair 2014 to Be Biggest U.S. Toy Fair Yet

The American International Toy Fair in February is expected to be the largest toy trade show ever held in North America. Though registration has been open for just a few weeks, the Toy Industry Association (TIA) reports that the show has already surpassed a record-breaking 400,000 net square feet of exhibit space at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

The 2013 event—which hosted the largest exhibit area since 2000—covered just over 366,000 net square feet at the Javits Center. As of press time, total registration for the 2014 American International Toy Fair is up 10 percent over the same period last year, while buyer registration is up 6 percent year-to-date, and international buyer attendance has surged 18 percent over last year’s point-in-time figures.

Approximately 30,000 visitors are expected to attend, exploring products on display by more than 1,000 exhibiting toy companies.

Magicforest Distributes New Moulin Roty Nighttime Shadow Puppets

magicforestFrench toy company Moulin Roty has cast a light on its Les Petit Merveilles line of Nighttime Shadow Puppets. Instead of reading from a storybook, parents and kids can use these puppet sets with themes of Castles, Paris, Circus, and Dinosaurs to create magical tales for sweet dreams. Magicforest, the exclusive U.S. distributor of Moulin Roty toys, will showcase the entire collection, plus the Nighttime Shadow Theatre, at its booth at the American International Toy Fair.

Different than hand puppets made by a flashlight and a camping tent wall, these artistic puppets entice storytelling and hand coordination, and serve as an outlet to express feelings. The puppets are made from black cardstock that is laser cut into various shapes. The Paris Shadows set features the Eiffel Tower, an airplane, the moon, and a sleepwalker. The nine-piece Castle Shadows includes a dragon, a fairy, royalty, and a witch. The Dinosaur Shadows is a pack of 10 puppets featuring a stegosaurus, a brachiosaurus, and more prehistoric shapes. The Nighttime Circus Shadow puppets include 11 different figures, including a lion, an elephant, and a strongman. The puppets are designed for kids ages 3 and up.

Guillow’s Model Airplane Fleet Grows by Six New MiniModels

Rockstar.Jet.planeGuillow’s model airplane kits are still beloved by those who enjoy the simple beauty of building, and then flying, a balsa wood toy plane. Guillow will showcase six new miniModels in the company’s 4500 series at the upcoming American International Toy Fair. While Guillow’s traditional toy gliders can be put together in minutes, these miniModels require roughly an hour of engineering.

The 4500 series includes the U.S. Hellcat or U.S. Warhawk, each with red propellers, and a German Fighter with distinctive black markings on its wingtips. Three non-military planes—the Rockstar Jet, V-Tail, and Stunt Flyer—round out the six miniModels.

Guillow’s miniModels need no cutting or sanding to construct. Easy-to-follow 3-D videos can be found at the Guillow website. Each of the six new miniModels is appropriate for kids ages 13 and up, and can be found online and on hobby and toy store shelves next year.

Motorworks Expands with New Cars, Play Sets, Accessories

ManhattanToy.Motorworks.convertibleMotorworks, from The Manhattan Toy Co., will expand its line next year with new models, a car trailer, and accessories. The vehicles are designed with a common, convertible chassis, which allows kids to choose between durable, snap-on parts and to customize in different ways.

The collection is comprised of three different trim levels: Street Series, Speed Series, and Extreme Series. Motorworks will attend next year’s American International Toy Fair with its latest offerings, all of which are suitable for kids ages 3 and up. [Read more...]

Douglas Adds New Puppies, Wildlife Animals

DouglasWildAnimalsDouglas Co., a New Hampshire-based plush toy maker, has added a new size of breed to its puppy kennels, as well as a variety of new animals to its wildlife line. Eight new pups will be joining the dogs line, and 18 new wildlife animals will join the entourage, in time for the 2014 American International Toy Fair.

Each of the new pups is created from soft, faux fur in the exact likeness of its true-to-life counterparts. Douglas’ new wildlife animals include a fox, wolf, moose, cow, white tail deer, raccoon, and pig. The company is also adding larger wildlife animals that range in size from 11 inches to 24 inches in length. Douglas’ Wildlife Animals have authentic-looking details and bring attention to both current and endangered species.

The new Douglas products are expected to appear on store shelves by early March.