China Toy Fair


WWE Slam City Launches with Mattel Toy Line

WWESlamCityMattel Inc. and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) recently launched WWE Slam City, a new kids property that includes a complete line of WWE Slam City merchandise as well as an original animated short-form series co-produced by WWE and Mattel’s Playground Productions. WWE Slam City toys, including action figures, ring sets and more, are currently available at major retail stores. In addition to toys, books and graphic novels will be available by year’s end, while a WWE Slam City mobile game will be in stores next year.

Episodes will be aired on WWESlamCity.com, Cartoonium, and YouTube in addition to TV broadcasts, live events, digital version, and social media. Other platforms include Hulu, Mattel.com, iTunes, and Playstation.

The series was filmed in the next generation of stop-motion animation. A new WWE animated character will fire all of the WWE Superstars and send them to Slam City to find day jobs. The characters, including John Cena, Randy Orton, and Sheamus will have a new lifestyle outside of the ring but will stay true to their personas.

COMMENTARY: Friendly Monsters Come to Life with The Horndribbles

imageAdventures of the Horndribbles: Zapp and the Oogah-Oogah Nut, by Herbert Joel and published by Explorers’ Playground Inc., is the tale of four creature friends that work together to save one of their own when he finds himself in potential danger. The Horndribbles live on—you guessed it—Horndribble Island, a fantastical land with lakes, forests, mountains, and beaches with names such as “Waka Forest,” “Rumblethump,” “Pinball Rapids,” “Willy Nilly Waterway,” “Namby Pamby Creek,” and “Gadzooks Glacier Range,” just to name a few.

My favorite part of the book is the map of Horndribble Island, printed on the inside front cover. [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: Go! Go! Sports Girls Promote a Healthy Image for Girls

After struggling with self-image for many, many years, I feel that relaying the importance of confidence to a younger generation of girls is of the utmost importance. Young girls see and hear older women discussing hatred toward their bodies and the latest on fad diets; it’s such an unhealthy message to send. In a world where most “girl” action figures and dolls are stick-thin, and every famous tween girl looks ill-fed, a break in this trend is always quite refreshing. Go! Go! Sports Girl products offer girls products with a positive image to encourage healthy minds and bodies. The line was created after Jodi Norgaard had a disappointing shopping experience with her 9-year-old daughter, unable to find anything “stylish” that didn’t bare a stomach or involve high heels. Norgaard’s company, Dream Big Toy Co., aims to empower young girls with its motto “Dream Big and Go for It.” It seems that similar specialty toy companies have started to take notice, creating lines with a related approach.

ellaDream Big Toy Co. created Go! Go! Sports Girls as a fun and educational way to promote self-appreciation and the benefits of daily exercise, healthy eating and sleeping habits, self-esteem, and overall healthy life skills among girls ages 3 to 12, regardless of race and socioeconomic class. The Sports Girls are age and size appropriate, and most importantly, they do not encourage an older or overly mature image. The image is innocent with a strong message to girls about appreciating and being true to yourself. [Read more...]

New Children’s Series Helps to Conquer Fears and Phobias

phobiasFobie Friends is a new series aimed at addressing childhood fears. The books and accompanying plush toys can be used by teachers, counselors, and educators, and help create a child’s desire for play and fantasy.
This three part book series spans across digital platforms and was written by Brian and Leslie Miller. They worked with experts to create characters that depict a child-friendly version of “phobias.”
The first three books and plush toys each come with their own “Fobie” and include:
  • phobias1Did My Owl Just Growl, which addresses the fear of the dark with Fobie Friend blue owl
  • Climb the Monkey Bars? That’s Bananas, a book pertaining to the fear of heights with Fobie Friend purple gorilla
  • Hold Your Seahorses! Water is the Worst, which addresses the fear of swimming in water with Fobie Friends seahorse

Fobie Friends will also launch an ebook application available on Nook, Kindle, Apple, PC, and Android platforms. The books and toys can be purchased on Amazon.com and FobieFriends.com. Books about being bullied at school, going to sleep-away camp, and going to the dentist’s office are in production.

NCircle Entertainment Acquires DVD Distribution Rights for The Gruffalo’s Child

NCircle Entertainment has acquired distribution rights for The Gruffalo’s Child, the highly anticipated follow-up to the Academy Award-nominated animated short, The Gruffalo, produced by Magic Light Pictures. The Gruffalo’s Child is based on the companion book written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler.

“We are extremely pleased to bring the amazing animated versions of Julia Donaldson’s beloved children’s stories to families in the comfort of their own homes,” said Debbie Ries, senior vice president and general manager of NCircle Entertainment. “The Gruffalo DVD won the hearts of viewers of all ages when it was released last year, and The Gruffalo’s Child extends the magic of the original with a new story that promises to delight audiences once again.”

NCircle Entertainment will release The Gruffalo’s Child on DVD on August 14, 2012. NCircle will promote The Gruffalo’s Child through national advertising, including TV and radio, as well as a broad social media campaign.

This post was originally written by Leah Rocketto 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.

Alphabetown USA Launches New Line of Children’s Books

Alphabetown USA, LLC announces a new series of stories slated to hit stores this summer. The new line will launch in July with Madison’s Magical Adventure, followed by The Vowel Gang Takes a Trip, amd with more titles to come in the future.

The Alphabetown USA series was developed by Ryan and Nicole Mayer, a husband and wife team from Rolesville, North Carolina and is illustrated by artist Russ Simmons. The team cite their children as inspirations behind the Alphabetown USA books.

“Ryan and I turn their ideas into stories and incorporate the educational component,” said Nicole Mayer.  “Reading, and the ability to read, is such a critical part of a child’s development that we wanted to create books that were not only fun for young children, but served as an educational tool for parents and teachers as well.

The Alphabetown USA series is currently available online at www.alphabetownusa.com, amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and in select Barnes & Noble, Learning Express and Brilliant Sky retail stores. They are suitable for children ages 2-8.

This post was originally written by Leah Rocketto 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

New Book: Cooper and Me

Cooper and Me is the first book in a series that follows a young girl and her dog named Cooper. Co-written and illustrated by 11-year-old Alexa Peters, the series premiered in 2010 and four more storybooks are set to publish throughout this year. In her books, Alexa covers issues any young child can relate to, from building friendships to finding the courage to follow your dreams.

The picture book is available on the Cooper and Me website, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon for $12.99.  An album is also available, complementing the book . A portion of the revenues from every sold copy of Cooper and Me will be donated to the Happy Hearts Fund, to aid the charity’s efforts in rebuilding children’s lives after natural disasters. For more information, visit Cooper and Me.

[Read more...]

Tori Spelling to Publish Children’s Book

Aladdin has announced that actress and New York Times bestselling writer Tori Spelling will write her first children’s picture book, entitled Presenting…Tallulah. The book tells the story of a spunky little girl who wants to be herself, despite others always telling her what she’s not supposed to do and what kind of girl she isn’t. “Don’t get dirty… don’t talk loudly… don’t wear jeans like the other kids.”  Illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton (Freedom Sing, Drum City) Tallulah tries to figure out what kind of girl she is. The book’s release is slated for September 21.

[Read more...]