Toy Industry Unveils Nominees for 2015 Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards

TOTY2015logoToday, the Toy Industry Association (TIA) announced the 83 finalists for the prestigious 2015 Toy of the Year Awards (TOTY). Between now and January 11, toy consumers of all ages can visit www.toyawards.org to vote for their favorite toys, games, and properties across 12 categories.

The 2015 finalists were selected from more than 600 nominees submitted for consideration by 159 companies. Sixty academics, journalists, toy trend experts, play therapists, toy inventors and designers, and toy retailers staffed the nomination committees that narrowed the field to the slate of finalists.

Votes from mass retailers, specialty toy retailers, media, TIA members, and consumers will be weighted and used to determine each of the 12 category winners. The winners—including the overall Toy of the Year and the People’s Choice awards—will be announced at the TOTY Awards ceremony held on February 13, 2015 as the kick-off to the 112th North American International Toy Fair. [Read more...]

Wal-Mart to Offer More Disney Frozen Items than Any Other Retailer

During the coming holiday season, Wal-Mart will offer more than 700 licensed Disney Frozen items, which is more than any other retailer. The toy items include Jakks Pacific’s Frozen Snow Glow Elsa, Blip’s Frozen Dancing Olaf, Disney‘s Frozen Sing-Along DVD, and more. [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: Indoor Toys to Defeat the Colder Weather Blues

I could have sworn that yesterday was the first declared day of summer. Man, it totally flew by! Though I love autumn now, I remember hating the changing of the leaves as a kid—it meant no more pool parties or beach days, and very limited outdoor play as fall turned to winter. Fear not, kids of 2013: there are so many new toys to make indoor play equally as exciting as those water guns and slip ‘n slides. Though I can’t help you with the pool situation (even I will miss the sunshine and water combo), I can give you a list of some of the hottest remote-control and robotic toys for indoor play to get you through the colder weather.

zoomer-150x150For parents who don’t allow dogs in the house, get rid of the constant begging and pleading from your kids with Zoomer, from Spin Master. He does everything that a real dog does—except shed hair and pee in the house! He’s cute and interactive, and he listens and learns commands. The trainable robotic pet will sit, bark, run, play, and even roll over on command. He even lifts his leg when commanded to “Go pee.” Kids can teach Zoomer more than 60 tricks, and the more time spent with him, the more he does—a lesson in pet responsibility. He responds to Spanish, French, and English. He is spotted like a Dalmatian, and he answers to his name, Zoomer! It’s absolutely adorable, doesn’t need regular vet visits, and won’t beg you for food. Win-win! He loves when you pat his head or tickle his tummy; like a real dog, he can’t help but wag his tail. [Read more...]

Fall Toy Preview Sees Increases in Total Attendance and Global Participation

Courtesy of Toy Industry Association

More than 700 buyers from around the world attended the Toy Industry Association’s Fall Toy Preview 2012 in Dallas. This is a 3 percent increase in total buyers who attended to look at the new toys and games for Holiday 2013. A 10 percent increase in foreign buyers was also noted.  The top five foreign countries represented by buyers were Canada, the UK, Mexico, Australia, and Hong Kong. Roughly 348 companies exhibited their latest product lines, including Alexander Doll Company, American Plastic Toys, Famosa, Hape, Inc., Melissa and Doug, Playmobil, Ohio Art, Blip Toys, Safari Ltd., and Razor USA. In sponsorship with Techno Source and presented by Carlin West Agency/NFL Rush Zone, the opening night party for the event raised funds for the Toy Industry Foundation and allowed participants to meet with Dallas Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware.

New Squinkies Video Games to Debut This Year

Blip Toys, the maker of the Squinkies line of collectible figures, has granted Activision Publishing, Inc. the exclusive worldwide rights to develop, manufacture, and distribute video games based on the Squinkies brand and characters. The agreement covers entertainment software products across multiple platforms such as handheld, console, and connected platforms, as well as PC and mobile devices.

The new Squinkies video games are expected to debut throughout 2011, with the first Nintendo DS title for girls releasing in April.

For more information on Squinkies, visit www.squinkies.com.

Blip Toys Introduces Squinkie Doos

Blip Toys has introduced a new addition to its Squinkies brand: Squinkie Doos. Squinkie Doos are just like Squinkies: small, squishy, and collectible, encased in a plastic toy bubble. But, each of the new Squinkie Doos has a mane of colorful hair that kids can play with.

Figure packs include three Squinkie Doo characters. The small Squinkie Doos Salon & Spa Playset includes two Squinkie Doos and hairstyling accessories such as a swivel chair, blow-dryer and hand mirror, and brush. The play set is a hairstyling center and a Squinkie Doo dispenser—the bubbles go in the salon dome and come out after twisting the dial. After the Squinkie Doos have popped out of their bubbles, they can enjoy their spa experience.

Squinkie Doos are now available at Toys “R” Us stores nationwide. They will be arriving at other retailers throughout this month.

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