China Toy Fair


Nitro Grinders Exclusive at Toys “R” Us, Canada Through September

Microsoft Word - Tech4Kids - Nitro Grinders Final.docxThis summer, Tech 4 Kids launched Nitro Grinders exclusively in Canada, and through September 25, the new toy line will be available only at Toys “R” Us, Canada.

Nitro Grinders Series 1 launched with 56 characters that can ride and glide over obstacles without falling over. Customizable wheels and ramps are also available for extended play. Each highly detailed character belongs to one of five themes: Mechanimals, Wasteland, Elementals, Space Frontier, and Metropolis. The Metropolis collection will be an ongoing Toys “R” Us exclusive.

“The collectible market has been waiting for something new, unique and exciting,” says Brad Pedersen, president, Tech 4 Kids, “Nitro Grinders combines all the qualities kids look for when picking favorites: customization, creativity, and collectability.”

Nitro Grinders retail exclusively at Toys “R” Us, Canada, and will roll out nationwide beginning in mid-October.

Smart Wearable Toy Maker Linkitz Wins 2014 N100 Startup Competition

Linkitz_Rendered_Image_2Linkitz has won the 2014 N100 Startup Competition in Ontario, Canada. The company aims to close the technology gender gap, bring manufacturing back to North America, and shift capital investments to hardware.

According to Andrew Macrae, CTO of Linkitz, the company makes smart and modular wearable toys, which blink, buzz, and help kids learn programming. The toy is designed to be social and a fashion item to motivate kids to learn more about technology. With the $100,000 prize money from N100, Linkitz will finalize, test, and market the product.

Mega Brands Presented with Award Recognizing Successes and Responsible Environmental Practices

mega brands logoMega Brands was honored this past Thursday with the Prix Hommage from the Chambre de commerce et d’industrie de Saint-Laurent-Mont-Royal. The tribute award was given at the 30th Alpha Gala, which celebrates outstanding performances by companies in St-Laurent, Cartierville, and Mont-Royal.

Recently, Mega Brands repatriated a large part of its production from China to Montreal, thanks to technological advances. This has enabled the company to accelerate its own growth, while following principles of sustainable development.

Jean-François Albert, vice-president of manufacturing at Mega Brands, accepts the Tribute Award from minister and member of the National Assembly for Saint-Laurent, Jean-Marc Fournier, at the 30th Alpha 2014 Gala on May 15.

Jean-François Albert, vice-president of manufacturing at Mega Brands, accepts the Tribute Award from minister and member of the National Assembly for Saint-Laurent, Jean-Marc Fournier, at the 30th Alpha Gala on May 15.

Mega Brands’ St-Laurent plant, now the world’s first toy manufacturing facility to be recognized as environmentally responsible, produces six times as many toys as before with the same amount of energy. It also emits 500 times less greenhouse gas emissions than plants in China for the same level of production.

The Trash Pack Sells Over 500K During Easter Week in Canada

TrashPack LogoAcross Canada, Imports Dragon posted impressive numbers during Easter weekend, breaking yearly sales records with the Trash Pack brand. Over 500,000 Trashies were sold over the course of the weekend, marking the beginning of a new Easter trend.

Each collectible Trashie figurine comes in three different colors and is named after some rotten delight found in the garbage. There are more than 100 Trash Pack characters to collect per series, including rare, ultra-rare, and glow-in-the-dark Trashies.

“If the trend continues as it has across the world, we can expect some more amazing results for series 5 and 6 coming out this summer and fall, respectively,” said Véronique Léonard, brand manager at Imports Dragon.

Mattel Completes Acquisition of Mega Brands

Mattel Inc. has completed the acquisition of Mega Brands Inc., the No. 2 player in the multi-billion-dollar construction toy category, through a wholly owned subsidiary of Mattel Inc. for approximately $460 million.

Mattel plans to maintain Mega Brands’ manufacturing facilities in Montreal and Tennessee, and the company’s headquarters will remain in Montreal. Geoff Massingberd, named chairman and president of Mega Brands by Mattel, has assumed full leadership responsibility.

In connection with the closing of the acquisition, Mega Brands’ common shares and warrants will be de-listed from the TSX Venture Exchange. Mega Brands has also applied to Canadian securities regulators to cease to be a reporting issuer in each of the provinces and territories of Canada, in which it is currently a reporting issuer.

Mega Brands Returns as Presenting Sponsor of Walk Now for Autism Speaks

Light it Up Blue was launched by Autism Speaks in 2010 in support of World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD), which takes place on April 2. Mega Bloks Lights It Up Blue in celebration of World Autism Awareness Day and encourages others to do the same in showing their support!

Light it Up Blue was launched by Autism Speaks in 2010 in support of World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD), which takes place on April 2. Mega Bloks Lights It Up Blue in celebration of World Autism Awareness Day and encourages others to do the same in showing their support!

Mega Brands Inc. has partnered with Autism Speaks Canada, Toys “R” Us Canada, and local autistic groups to launch three exciting initiatives in support of the cause. For the fourth consecutive year, Mega Bloks returns as the presenting sponsor of the 2014 Walk Now for Autism Speaks event, scheduled for May 25 at the McGill University Tomlinson Fieldhouse in Montreal.

Meanwhile, as a fundraising measure, Mega Bloks has joined forces with Toys “R” Us Canada, pledging to donate $1 of every Mega Bloks toy sold in-store and online in Canada throughout the month of April to Autism Speaks Canada. In addition, Mega Bloks has invited local autistic organizations to tour its Montreal headquarters every Friday during April to learn more about the therapeutic benefits of Mega Bloks toys.

More information about the Walk Now for Autism Speaks event can be found at the organization’s website.

TIA Urges Resolution to Vancouver Truck Driver Labor Dispute

tia_logo[1]The Toy Industry Association (TIA) is urging for a swift resolution to the ongoing truck driver strike at one of Canada’s busiest ports, Port Metro Vancouver. As reported by the TIA, nearly 1,500 unionized and non-unionized container truck drivers have been protesting for more than three weeks. The protest has impacted $126 million worth of goods and the drivers have turned down legislation introduced by the provincial government, seeking a negotiated agreement.

“With a year-round flow of products, and especially as we head into the very busy spring/summer outdoor toy season, our industry relies upon the full operation of all North American ports to support the global supply chain,” Carter Keithley, President and CEO of the TIA, said.

COMMENTARY: Inside the Mega Bloks Factory, Where Innovation Is Their Building Block

March19.MegaBloksFactoryThere’s been a trend of late among North American toy manufacturers to either move manufacturing back home or to stay put entirely. Recently, I had a chance to visit the Mega Bloks factory in Montreal, where Mega Bloks—the signature toys of Mega Brands Inc.—are produced, and it only strengthens the argument not to export toy-making abroad. Jean-Francois Albert, vice president of manufacturing for the company, offered a guided tour that showed off the facility’s various innovations, which keep it cost-effective, even compared to China and other countries that traditionally offer cheap labor. [Read more...]

The Little Gym Active Toys Available at Target Canada

Feb24.LittleJimThe Little Gym International has partnered with Aqua-Leisure Industries for children’s development and activity toys for kids ages 3 to 7. The brand’s first line of active toys will be available exclusively at Target Canada stores starting this month.

The line includes products that emphasize physical development, imaginative play patterns, and experiential learning. The Maze Mover is a balance ball game that promotes problem solving, balance, and coordination. The PartyChute emphasizes cooperation, timing, and gross motor skills. The Air Cube allows kids to toss, tap, and keep a large, inflatable cube in the air. The Tube-A-Twist encourages agility, flexibility, balance, and problem-solving skills.

In addition, The Little Gym has launched music CDs designed to get kids moving, learning, and having fun. The CDs are available for download on iTunes and for purchase on Amazon.com. The Little Gym is expected to release additional active toys later this year.

Mega Bloks Brings the Holiday Spirit to Quebec

LudovicaMinilandMega Brands, which is based in Montreal, Quebec, is celebrating the start of the holiday season with a number of local events.

The company is kicking off the holidays on November 23 at this year’s Destination Centre-ville Santa Claus Parade with a giant, 48-foot float with a full Winter Wonderland theme. The Mega Bloks team will be on-hand greeting spectators and handing out gifts to kids throughout the event, which will feature Mega Bloks Halo, Mega Bloks Hot Wheels, and Mega Bloks Barbie. In addition, Mega Bloks’ all-new mascot, MEGA Man, will be making his first appearance.

Mega Bloks will also sponsor Ludovica Miniland, a compilation of more than 600 reproductions of buildings and iconic monumental structures from around the globe, completely built out of Mega Bloks. Ludovica Miniland is on display from November 22 to next January, at the Grand Marché de Wickham in Quebec.

Finally, as part of its yearly mid-December tradition, Mega Bloks has extended invitations to groups of children from the Sun Youth Organization, as well as the Generations Foundation, to come meet Santa Claus, visit the Mega Bloks factory, and personally receive a special Mega Bloks gift from Santa himself.