China Toy Fair


Build-A-Bear Workshop Opens New Store at FAO Schwarz Fifth Avenue

BABW_NewCircleLogoBuild-A-Bear Workshop has announced plans to open a shop within the FAO Schwarz Fifth Avenue flagship store. Opening in early November, the new location is the first Build-A-Bear Workshop store-within-a-store in the U.S.

While visiting the store, guests can participate in the hands-on Build-A-Bear Workshop stuffed animal-making experience, which has been enhanced with digital technology. The company worked with Microsoft, Samsung, and other leading technology companies to create the store design, which includes:

  • A touchscreen storefront display that allows guests to interact with the brand by playing and exploring the latest Build-A-Bear Workshop furry friend collections.
  • An interactive Love Me station that enables guests to customize their stuffed animals by giving personality traits to the red satin heart, which is added to their animal at the Stuff Me station.
  • A Hear Me station where popular music and special sounds can be added. Guests can also record their own voice to further personalize their stuffed animal.
  • The Fluff Me station where customers can play with a sensory effects digital bath tub with virtual bubbles.
  • The Name Me station, which allows guests to reveal the personality traits and customized features that were added to their stuffed animal throughout the bear-making process. At Name Me, guests also create a one-of-a-kind birth certificate.

Build-A-Bear Expands the My Little Pony Collection

20424_20333_20401_20401_20425Build-A-Bear Workshop is expanding its My Little Pony collection with the launch of Princess Twilight Sparkle under license from Hasbro Inc. Princess Twilight Sparkle and her trusted assistant Spike the Dragon are now available at Build-A-Bear Workshop stores throughout North America and online at buildabear.com.

The company’s licensing relationship with Hasbro allows guests to engage with the characters and uniquely personalize the ponies. Guests can complete the signature look for Princess Twilight Sparkle with a variety of fashions including a My Little Pony Coronation Cape, Gold Bow Flats, a My Little Pony Friendship is Magic theme song that can be added to any stufffed animal, and a Rainbow Brush.

Build-A-Bear Workshop Teams Up with the Smurfs

SmurfetteCGIBuild-A-Bear Workshop will introduce its second collection of Smurf characters in honor of Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation’s The Smurfs 2, in theaters July 31. Find the newest friends from the film, Vexy and Hackus, joining Smurfette on their latest adventure at Build-A-Bear Workshop and online at buildabear.com.

To celebrate the Smurfs’ arrival, Build-A-Bear Workshop is holding an #IlovemySmurf Instagram contest. Guests are invited to take a picture of their Smurfs plush from Build-A-Bear Workshop and share it on Instagram using the hashtag #IlovemySmurf in their Instagram photo. Images will be judged on a set of criteria and the five best photos will win. Winners will receive a $50 Bear Buck$ gift card. The contest runs from July 12- July 21.

Make-your-own Smurfette, Vexy, and Hackus can be outfitted in a variety of Smurfs clothing and accessories, including Smurfette dress, Smurfette and Vexy pajamas, Smurf BFF slippers, Vexy skirt outfit, Smurf hoodie, and Smurfs theme song (La La Song).

Build-A-Bear Workshop Meets Bikini Bottom with New SpongeBob SquarePants Collection

Build-A-Bear Workshop, the interactive entertainment retailer of customizable stuffed animals, announced a new relationship with Nickelodeon to bring the animated series, SpongeBob SquarePants, to Build-A-Bear Workshop. Beginning May 17, the company will offer make-your-own SpongeBob and Patrick at Build-A-Bear Workshop stores throughout North America and online at buildabear.com. SpongeBob’s Bikini Bottom friends Sandy Cheeks and Gary the Snail will also be available as pre-stuffed minis.

Build-A-Bear Workshop stores nationwide will be celebrating the arrival of SpongeBob with a series of special events from May 17 through May 19. Guests will be encouraged to dress up in their favorite SpongeBob-themed apparel. Additionally, guests who purchase a SpongeBob or Patrick plush will receive a free paper pineapple hat while making one of these new furry friends.

Guests can dress their SpongeBob and Patrick plush in a variety of clothing and accessories, including SpongeBob’s Pirate Costume, Patrick’s Pirate Costume, Pineapple House, and SpongeBob SquarePants Song Sound Chip.

Additionally, any furry friend can dress up in SpongeBob PJ Pants and SpongeBob T-Shirt to join the Bikini Bottom fun.

COMMENTARY: Bronies, Rejoice!

My Little Pony is everywhere lately, which might be cause for Bronies—adult male fans of the magical, flowing mane ponies—to rejoice. These unlikely fans of the mainly children’s, mainly girl’s property find themselves addicted to My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic on The Hub TV Network and fawning over toys and plush tucked away in pink aisles of Toys “R” Us.

I, myself, am not a member of this ilk. But I very well could be. As a kid in the 80s, I begged my mom to buy me a Care Bear—Grumpy Bear, to be exact—even though my dad disapproved. I coveted my sister’s Strawberry Shortcake bed set and would watch—and pretend to dislike—Rainbow Bright. If I don’t have Brony potential, I don’t know who does.

So, in the spirit of embracing the Brony in all of us, I’ve pulled together some cool new My Little Pony toys and plush that we have to look forward to.

My Little Pony Plush, from Aurora

aurora_2Aurora, in partnership with Hasbro, will initially release 18 My Little Pony styles, including 12 small, 6-inch ponies each with a personalized carrying bag, and six soft plush ponies about 10 inches in size. My Little Pony plush will be available for purchase in both the U.S. and Canada in Aurora’s retail channel of more than 25,000 specialty stores and gift shops as well as online at shop.auroragift.com.

Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash, from Build-A-Bear Workshop

buildabear_5In Build-A-Bear Workshop retail stores and online this month, fans of My Little Pony can customize their own Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash plush. Customers can dress their pony in their favorite My Little Pony fashions. Pinkie Pie has signature pink locks, and Rainbow Dash has a multi-colored mane that can be brushed, combed, and braided. Customers can dress Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash in their signature capes or a variety of other fashions.

My Little Pony Walkin’ Talkin’ Pinkie Pie, from Hasbro

7209FB2550569047F50D477617E8C75BHasbro introduces the Walkin’ Talkin’ Pinkie Pie, which walks forward, speaks silly pony phrases, and sings songs as she trots. Gently press the balloons on her cutie mark and watch her go. The figure wears an adorable headband with two yellow stars that bobble as she walks. This version of Pinkie Pie is available at most major toy retailers nationwide and on HasbroToyShop.com.

If your inner Brony is jonsing for a quick pony fix, Hasbro.com has a number of online games, including the My Little Pony Crystal Match game. You’re welcome.

For more commentary from Loren, check back each Wednesday afternoon. Views expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Toy Book as a whole. We hope that you will share your comments and feedback below. Until next time!

Build-A-Bear Workshop Partners with Hasbro for My Little Pony Plush

buildabear_5Build-A-Bear Workshop will bring the My Little Pony brand to store shelves with a collection of characters under license from Hasbro Inc. Arriving April 1, Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash will be available at Build-A-Bear Workshop stores throughout North America and online at Buildabear.com. The first ever make-your-own My Little Pony plush allows customers to personalize the characters.

Build-A-Bear Workshop stores nationwide will hold a series of special events from April 1 through April 7. Customers and associates will be encouraged to dress up in their favorite My Little Pony fashions. Additionally, while making a My Little Pony friend, guests can take a pony personality quiz, recite the pony promise, and learn how to style their pony’s hair with a special hair care brochure. Pinkie Pie has signature pink locks, and Rainbow Dash has a multi-colored mane that can be brushed, combed, and braided. Guests can dress Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash in their signature capes or a variety of other fashions.

Build-A-Bear Workshop Introduces Disney Princess Collection

Build-A-Bear Workshop, the interactive retailer of customized stuffed animals, celebrated the launch of its Disney Princess bear and collection of enchanting costumes by hosting Princess Weekend, held January 11 through January 13, in stores throughout North America. Guests were given the royal treatment with paper crowns and jewel stickers to decorate in their own special way. After a crowning and knighting ceremony, guests were able to create magical memories with the new Disney Princess bear, featuring a sparkling crown and paw depicting beloved Disney Princess characters and majestic crowns.   [Read more...]

Cody Simpson Helps Kick-off Build-A-Bear’s Toys for Tots Drive

Australian teen pop singer Cody Simpson helped Build-A-Bear Workshop kick-off a nationwide weekend campaign to make donations of more than 25,000 stuffed animals to the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots Foundation.

The 15-year-old singer, whose album Paradise was released this month, posed for photos with young fans and helped stuff bears with Marine families at the Build-A-Bear Workshop store on New York City’s Fifth Avenue. Build-A-Bear’s “Stuffed with Hugs” campaign will take place this weekend at stores across the country. The company is inviting guests to help make stuffed animals for free that will be donated to local Toys for Tots Foundation programs. The first 100 guests in all U.S. stores on Saturday and Sunday will have a chance to craft a stuffed animal that will be given to a needy child. More than one in five children under the age of 18 live in poverty, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

[Read more...]

Power Rangers Kick Off Halloween Safety Campaign

Beginning this month, Saban Brands is launching a multi-platform national Halloween safety campaign featuring the Samurai Power Rangers and designed to reach parents and children at schools, in theaters, online, and at home.

Videos about Halloween safety featuring the cast from Power Rangers Samurai will air in movie theaters nationwide before PG- and G-rated films. Some of the tips include do not eat unwrapped candy, take a glow stick or flashlight along while trick-or-treating, never go trick-or-treating alone, stay in groups or with a parent, and more. Special bulletin board posters reinforcing safety guidelines will be distributed to more than 5,000 elementary schools across the country.

Additionally, the powerrangers.com/Halloween webpage will feature more Halloween safety tips, videos, activities, games, and resources. The Power Rangers will also be reaching parents and kids through parenting blogs, entertainment websites, and gaming portals.

Greenzys Panda Now Available at Build-A-Bear Workshop

Build-A-Bear Workshop is offering the first make-your-own Yew Yew the Greenzys Panda in stores and online at buildabear.com, starting at $25. The stuffed animal, whose fur is made from soy, arrived in time for Earth Day on April 22 and National Arbor Day on April 29. When a guest purchases Yew Yew the Greenzys Panda, the Arbor Day Foundation will plant a tree in the purchaser’s honor. Guests can visit buildabear.com/greenzys to receive a personalized digital certificate acknowledging the planted tree contribution.

Additionally, guests who purchase Yew Yew will receive exclusive gifts, to be redeemed at Bearville.com, the Build-A-Bear Workshop online entertainment destination and virtual world. Guests will receive a virtual seed that grows into a heart-shaped tree, along with themed wallpaper for their virtual Cub Condo. They will also receive 2,000 Bear Bills, the Bearville currency, and guests who purchase Yew Yew the Greenzys Panda through May 20 will receive an additional 1,000 Bear Bills.