China Toy Fair


Tamagotchi L.i.f.e. Announces First Winner in Hometown Heroes Program

Bandai Co., Ltd. and Sync Beatz Entertainment celebrate the spirit of philanthropy by announcing Carole Pearson as the first winner of its Tamagotchi L.i.f.e. Hometown Heroes program. Pearson is being recognized for her work in advocating for homeless dogs. A $5,000 contribution has been made in Pearson’s honor to her animal rescue group, The Dawg Squad.

Tamagotchi Life Hometown Hero Dawg SquadThe Hometown Heroes program is a kickoff initiative of the new Tamagotchi L.i.f.e. (Love Is Fun Everywhere) lifestyle brand. Its goal is to encourage and recognize pro-social activity by enabling visitors to the Tamagotchi L.i.f.e. website to nominate people in their communities who have selflessly committed time and effort to improve the quality of life for those in need. Tamagotchi L.i.f.e. recognizes the highest scoring nominee with a $5,000 donation to the charity of his/her choice, an inscribed Tamagotchi L.i.f.e. Hometown Heroes Crystal Award, and a video on the Tamagotchi L.i.f.e. website.

The next winner will be selected at the end of April. Fans are encouraged to submit nominations for their own Hometown Heroes at http://tamagotchilife.com/heroes.

Bandai Launches Tamagotchi L.i.f.e. App

Bandai Co. Ltd. and its North American marketing representative Sync Beatz Entertainment are giving a special gift to Tamagotchi fans: the first-ever app based on the property.

The free App, developed by Tokyo-based Namco Bandai Games Inc., provides the toy’s classic game play in a contemporary format through its new Tamagotchi L.i.f.e. (Love Is Fun Everywhere) lifestyle brand. The app can be downloaded for Android devices throughout the U.S. and Canada and will be available on the iOS platform for the iPhone and iPad.

The Tamagotchi L.i.f.e. app, downloadable at (www.tamagotchilife.com), is an authentic recreation of the classic Tamagotchi that captured the imagination of young fans across America when it launched in 1997.

Just 100 days since the brand’s launch, three Tamagotchi-branded Facebook pages featuring the new lifestyle property have amassed more than 130,000 Facebook “likes.”  Links to those pages follow: http://bit.ly/TamaFBhttp://bit.ly/TamaReSettinghttp://bit.ly/GotchiFacebook

The App is the latest element of the multi-faceted Tamagotchi L.i.f.e. brand initiative, which began with its website launch in November, the kickoff of an original series of T-L.i.f.e. webisodes, and the establishment of the “Hometown Heroes” program, where fans can nominate someone making a measurable difference in their community, and the winner of each two-month voting period is awarded a $5000 charitable contribution.

Bandai Foundation Donates $35,000 to TIF to Bring Play to Children in Need

The Bandai Foundation recently donated $35,000 to the Toy Industry Foundation (TIF).  A portion of the funds will directly support TIF’s Toy Bank, which has distributed more than one and a half million new playthings for underserved and at-risk children this year alone. Additional funds will support the overall work of TIF, including national grant initiatives through TIF’s national partners, Boys & Girls Clubs of America Military Services, and CASA for Children. [Read more...]

New Ben 10 Series from Cartoon Network Launches in September

The “Experience the Omniverse” sweepstakes will give kids a chance to meet the new aliens from the upcoming animated series, Ben 10: Omniverse, which will premiere on September 22. By entering the product UPC code and holding their Ben 10 Omniverse packaging up to their computer web cam, kids can unlock one of five alien masks. The child can then put his or her face in front of the web camera and a 3D alien mask will appear. Kids can then see what it is like to become one of Ben’s new Omniverse Aliens.

Each week, different masks will be revealed. As kids bring home new products, they can try and unlock all five masks. Each time a mask is unlocked, the child will be entered to win a Ben 10: Omniverse Premiere Party at their local movie theater with 50 of their friends before the cartoon’s debut on Cartoon Network.

Kids who go online to reveal their aliens also had the opportunity to collect secret numbers that can be used in the “Crack the Code: Unlock the Omnitrix” sweepstakes. From September 22 to January 31, fans can enter their secret numbers to try and crack the code on the website. There will be bi-weekly drawings to win Ben 10 toy prize packs, and a Grand Prize winner will receive a trip for four to the Atlantis resort in the Bahamas, including a Dolphin interaction experience and access to the kid’s and/or teen club.

Bandai Ben 10 fans can visit www.bandai.com/ben10omniverse/promotion to enter to win the first phase of the sweepstakes until August 29 and the second phase of the sweepstakes from September 22 to January 31. Rules & Regulations can be found in the “Help” section on www.bandai.com/ben10omniverse/promotion.

This post was originally written by Sierra McCleary-Harris and published by ToyBook.com. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.

ThunderCats at Toy Fair

Bandai holds the global master toy license for ThunderCats, and the company showcased its upcoming line of ThunderCats-licensed toys at Toy Fair last week. Bandai’s lineup, to launch this fall, will include detailed ThunderCats four-inch figures, the Deluxe ThunderTank vehicle and four-inch Snarf figure, the highly articulated ThunderCats eight-inch Classic Figures, and the ThunderCats Deluxe Sword of Omens. Check out the video above to view the products.

ThunderCats, a new animated television series from Warner. Bros. Animation (WBA) and Japanese animation studio Studio4°C, will air on Cartoon Network this year.

Roary Toys Racing into Stores Next Month

Roary the Racing Car is zooming onto store shelves in the U.S. next month. Following the U.S. broadcast launch of the television series on Sprout, the new Roary line will hit Toys “R” Us stores and Toysrus.com in March.

As the U.S. master toy licensee for the brand, Bandai will offer a full line of Roary toys, including die-cast, push-along Racing Stars, Talking Turbo Vehicles, Roary R/C, Silver Hatch Racetrack play sets, and more. The die-cast vehicles, Talking Turbo Vehicles, and Roary R/C will be packaged with a special episode of Roary the Racing Car on DVD.

Following the Bandai toy launch, K’nex will release sets that will allow kids to recreate their favorite Roary characters and scenes.

The first Roary DVD, Roary The Racing Car, from Lionsgate Home Entertainment, will launch at mass retailers in June. The series was created by Chapman Entertainment and is represented by Hit Entertainment in North America.

Tinga Tinga Tales Premieres in U.S., New Licensees Announced

Classic Media has announced new licenses for newly premiered television series Tinga Tinga Tales, including Ravensburger for puzzles, Pressman Toy Corporation for games, and University Games for Colorforms activity products. The new licensees will join master toy partner Bandai and master publishing partner Grosset & Dunlap.

Tinga Tinga Tales is an animated preschool series about how animals came to be. Inspired by traditional animal folktales from Africa and the colorful Tingatinga art style of Tanzania, the series is created by producer Claudia Lloyd (Charlie and Lola) and produced entirely on location in Africa by local artists.

Tinga Tinga Tales premiered on February 14 with the launch of the Disney Junior block on Disney Channel. The series, for kids ages 2-7, airs weekdays in the U.S. at 11 a.m. ET/PT. Bandai will release interactive toys based on the series in fall 2012.

Bandai Picked as Global Master Toy Licensee for Thundercats

Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP) has appointed Bandai America Incorporated as the global master toy licensee for the animated series Thundercats. Bandai will create and distribute products worldwide to complement the original brand property, as well as a new animated series, set to air on Cartoon Network in 2011.

The new Thundercats, based on the series that first aired in 1985, is executive produced by Sam Register (Teen Titans, Ben 10, Batman: The Brave and the Bold), and is being called a “21st century re-imagining of the original.” Michael Jelenic (Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Wonder Woman) and Ethan Spaulding (Avatar: The Last Airbender) are the producers. Warner Bros. Animation and Studio4°C are developing the series, which is currently in production.

Saban Capital Group Acquires Power Rangers from The Walt Disney Company

Saban Capital Group, Inc. has acquired the Power Rangers property from The Walt Disney Company, marking the franchise as the first property to be managed by newly established Saban Brands. Saban Brands was recently formed as a subsidiary of Saban Capital Group to manage and license entertainment properties and consumer brands throughout the world.

The acquisition represents the return of the global franchise to its original developer, Haim Saban, who introduced the first Power Rangers series in 1993. The deal includes worldwide rights to the brand, as well as the more than 700 episodes produced over 17 years.

[Read more...]

Bandai’s Pocoyo Line to Include Plush, Bath Toys, and More

Bandai America Incorporated, the master toy licensee for Pocoyo in the U.S. and Canada, is launching an extensive toy line for the animated series, which will hit store shelves in North America this fall.

Bandai’s Pocoyo products will include a 10-inch basic plush of Pocoyo, Elly (the elephant), and Pato (the duck); Squeeze n’ Play plush of the characters; 2.5-inch bath figures; a bath water taxi; a six-inch mini-plush assortment of the Pocoyo, Elly, Pato, and Loula the dog; and Bump n’ Go, an electronic car of Pocoyo that stops, turns, and moves backward.

[Read more...]