Barnes & Noble Kicks Off Holiday Shopping Season with Discovery Weekend

Barnes & Noble will host a Discovery Weekend, a three-day event to kick off the holiday shopping season, to launch in all stores nationwide from November 21 through November 23. The event will build on the company’s first-ever Discovery Friday last year, and the expanded program will begin one week before Black Friday. The weekend will feature family-friendly events, interactive activities, Storytime events, and book signings and appearances by more than 100 bestselling authors and personalities like Red Hot Chili Peppers front man Anthony Kiedis, Bill Nye “The Science Guy,” and actress Evangeline Lilly.

Throughout the weekend, customers will receive promotions, special discounts, and Nook offers. For the first time, Barnes & Noble will provide customized gift ideas to holiday shoppers on Twitter using the hashtag #BNGiftTip through December 23.

Events taking place at Barnes & Noble stores across the country include a Linkee Trivia Tournament on November 21; transforming a book or card using the ArtFolds technique; learning how to draw like Mo Willems, puppet-making and holiday sing-along, and a Fluxx game night on November 22; and storytime, crafts, and activities on November 23.

Barnes & Noble will also be hosting giveaways during Discovery Weekend. Customers can visit the Nook counter to demonstrate the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook. Guests will be able to enter to win a trip for two to New York City and a $1,000 Barnes & Noble Gift Card to meet, greet, and shop with Nick Jonas. Also, shoppers will be encouraged to wear their Most Outrageous Holiday Sweaters to wear at local Barnes & Noble Stores. If shoppers post a photo of their outfit on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with the hashtag #BNSweaterContest, they will enter to win one of three grand prizes.

Children of Soldiers and Wounded Warriors Get New Toys from TIF and BGCA

toyindustryMore than 1,700 children of military personnel and Wounded Warriors were given brand-new toys and games on November 6 at Fort Belvoir in Fairfax County, Va. Hosted by the Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) in partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) Military Services, the toy giveaway was held in celebration of Military Family Appreciation Month.

Every child in attendance got to take home a toy, choosing from a selection of skill-building, enriching, and comforting playthings donated by Barnes & Noble, Big Time Toys, Imperial Toy, Lego, Mattel, Patch Products, and Yamie Chess. The event was held as part of the joint TIF/BGCA Play Comforts program, in which toys and games are delivered on an annual basis to families on U.S. military installations at home and abroad.

Entertainment One Launches Peppa Pig Magazine, Expands U.S. Toy Program

PeppaPigMagEntertainment One Licensing (eOne Licensing) has partnered with Redan Publishing Inc. for a bi-monthly publication based on Peppa Pig. Fun To Learn Peppa Pig Magazine will launch this month at major retailers throughout the U.S., including Wal-Mart, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, and Kroger.

Based on the animated TV show airing daily on Nick Jr., Fun To Learn Peppa Pig Magazine, for children ages 2 to 7, showcases the adventurous and loveable little pig along with her brother George, Mummy Pig, and Daddy Pig. Every issue will feature 36 pages of Peppa-themed activities designed to reinforce early learning skills as well as fun and inventive crafts projects, puzzles, product giveaways, and more.

In addition, a host of new licensed products are slated to make their retail debut in the spring. Better Toyz will offer a range of licensed sporting goods, including ball pits and tents, play balls, skates, scooters, kiddie pools, and skateboards. Fiesta Toys will produce an assortment of Peppa Pig plush and toys for the amusement park channel, from plush novelty hats and peek-a-boo pillows to Rolley bags and backpacks.

Barnes & Noble Partners with Rovio for Exclusive Angry Birds Stella Preview

June4.ABStella-300x186 copyNook Media, a subsidiary of Barnes & Noble Inc., together with Rovio will make the upcoming Angry Birds Stella game available for fans to preview exclusively at Barnes & Noble stores from today to September 3. Angry Birds fans and Barnes & Noble customers can visit the Nook counter at any store nationwide to play the game on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook in-store demo devices.

Angry Birds Stella will launch on September 4 across all major platforms.

Barnes & Noble Celebrates Pop Culture in Stores This Summer

Barnes & Noble will bring pop culture favorite books, comics, superheroes, and television shows to life in stores nationwide from July 18 through August 10. The Get Pop Cultured with Barnes & Noble series of themed events will feature panel discussions, contests, exclusive content, giveaways and prizes, sneak peeks, activities, and more featuring popular characters, DVDs, artists, illustrators, and pop culture icons.

The campaign will highlight the influence that books, graphic novels, movies, TV shows, music, toys, games, and collectibles have on culture. Get Pop Cultured with Barnes & Noble will kick off with a preview weekend and costume contest from July 18 to 20. All Barnes & Noble stores will have limited quantities of free, never-before-seen samplers of upcoming releases, posters, and digital downloads during Preview Weekend. Other events include Batman Day on July 23, where all Barnes & Noble stores nationwide will sell exclusive merchandise; the DC Comics Spectacular from July 23 to July 27, which will offer fans a chance to celebrate DC Comics with activities, special giveaways, and a limited time offer on graphic novels; a sing-along and story time event, Frozen Friday: Cool Off with Olaf! on August 1; Marvel Day on August 2, which will feature Marvel Comics-themed activities, giveaways, and product offerings; and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Jr. Ninja Training Academy Event, which will include activities, crafts, and a Ninja training event.

There will also be special guests such as Grumpy Cat, Christopher Paolini, and various authors.

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Toy Line to Expand

DanielTigerThe Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood product line will include more products and enter major retail chains this year. Jakks Pacific will expand the brand’s range of toys, as well as venture into new categories including books and costumes, the latter through its Disguise division. In addition, University Games will offer puzzles and games such as the Colorform Deluxe Playset.

The new toys and games are part of an overall retail expansion, which includes Kmart and Target introducing a selection of licensed merchandise, and Barnes & Noble launching a full line of books from Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing under Simon Spotlight. Daniel Tiger Neighborhood products will also be introduced to Canadian retailers for the first time.

TIF Distributes New Toys to More than 2,000 Kids on North Carolina Air Force Base

TIF/BGCAThe Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) and national partner Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) Military Services distributed brand new toys to more than 2,000 children and families living on Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, N.C. on December 2. During the base’s annual tree lighting ceremony, kids were treated to more than just entertainment and festive activities—they were also given a generous donation of toys, games, and stuffed animals.

With the holiday season just around the corner, TIF and BGCA are hopeful that the toys will ease the stresses and challenges children face with parents who are frequently deployed. This special donation was made possible through toy companies to TIF’s signature giving program, The Toy Bank.

This event was held as part of the TIF/BGCA Play Comforts program—the first national toy distribution initiative to serve dozens of U.S. military installations at home and abroad. The program has provided more than $3.8 million in toys for children and families over the four years it has been running.

TIF’s Toy Bank includes AbraKIDabra, Alex Toys, Barnes & Noble, Cardinal Industries, Cartamundi USA, Hohner, Inc., Green Toys, Innovation First, Lego Systems Inc., Mattel Inc., MindWare, Ohio Art, Patch Products, Safari Ltd., Wonder Forge, Wyla/Just Pretend Kids, and exhibitors at the TIA’s Fall Toy Preview in Dallas. For 10 years, The Toy Bank has provided toys to more than 11 million children in need worldwide.

Joester Loria Group Brokers Deals for The World of Eric Carle

The World of Eric Carle has renewed its license with master toy partner Kids Preferred for an additional four years in a deal brokered by The Joester Loria Group.

Kids Preferred has been a partner for more than 7 years with successful programs consisting of plush, plastic, and wood developmental toys in retail accounts including Babies “R” Us, Buy Buy Baby, Kohl’s, Sears, and Barnes & Noble. Kids Preferred continues to develop a wide range of innovative toys that encourage early developmental skills and playful learning for infants and toddlers. New introductions and expanded retail programs this year will include the following Target, Kohl’s, and Babies “R” Us. [Read more...]

Children’s Recording Artist Laurie Berkner Debuts Sing and Send Karaoke App

Laurie Berkner has released her first-ever Sing and Send karaoke app with the help of Two Tomatoes Records and Siena Entertainment. The app debuted at No. 1 on iTunes’ Kids Music apps chart. Kids can sing and share their favorite Laurie Berkner Band songs on iPhone, iPod, and iPad. The app comes pre-loaded with three songs, and more song packs are available for purchase. [Read more...]

Imagination To Release Fifty Shades of Grey Party Games

Imagination Games will release Fifty Shades of Grey: Party Game, a new party game  that allows all players to “Release their Inner Goddess!” This is the first in a series of fun, social party games that will be available in the U.S. and Canada, United Kingdom, and Australia on December 10. The game will be released internationally in time for Valentine’s Day. [Read more...]