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.

Kaboom! Secures Branded Retail Space Across Canada

Oct21.OctonautsDVDCollectionkaboom! Entertainment has secured dedicated retail space across all of Canada’s 125 Target branches for its Treehouse Presents releases. The exclusive spaces will launch November 5 and will host releases coming through the Treehouse Presents DVD label, jointly created by Corus and Phase 4 Films.

Brands, including OctonautsMy Big Big Friend, Franklin & Friends, Toopy & Binoo, Chuggington, and The Bernstain Bears will be included in Target’s first line of exclusive Movie Night packaging, and kaboom! will be creating downloadable activities, recipes, and games for each release.

Patch Products Distributes Classic Board Game Stratego

StrategoJumboPatch Products has signed a licensing and distribution agreement with Royal Jumbo, which grants Patch the exclusive right to market and distribute Stratego products in the U.S. and Canada, effective next year. Stratego, a game of battlefield strategy, has sold more than 20 million copies worldwide. Over the years, it has been released under different themes, looks, and rules, although the goal remains capturing the opponent’s flag.

Patch Products is a family-owned company that specializes in the design, manufacturing, and marketing of games, children’s puzzles, preschool toys, creative activities and teaching tools. Royal Jumbo, a 160-year-old company, is a Dutch publisher and manufacturer of games and puzzles.

TIA Seeks Input from Members on Proposed Health Canada Lead Limits

tia_logo[1]Health Canada might expand its requirement limiting total lead content in toys sold or imported to Canada. Currently, the 90 parts-per-million (ppm) lead limit is applicable to toys produced for kids ages 3 and under. The expanded requirement would apply to toys produced for kids up to age 14.

The Toy Industry Association (TIA) has issued a short survey to learn how this potential requirement might impact the operations of TIA members. The survey asks if the proposed lead content limit would have no impact on companies, and why; would increase testing costs, and by how much on an annual basis; force them to stop selling toys in Canada; or reduce the number of toys sold in Canada.

The survey is available online. Responses are due by October 7. Any questions may be directed to TIA’s Rebecca Mond at (202) 459-0352.

Spin Master Entertainment Brings Tenkai Knights to Teletoon Canada

TenkaiKnightsTenkai Knights, a new animated TV show, premiered on the Canadian channel Teletoon on September 29. New episodes will air on Sundays.

Tenkai Knights will feature 52 episodes, webisodes, an interactive website, as well an extensive toy line. The plot revolves around characters Guren, Ceylan, Chooki, and Toxsa, who accidentally stumble into an inter-dimensional portal and are ripped through space and time.

Spin Master Entertainment is responsible for distributing the Tenkai Knights broadcast in North and South America, while Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions Co. Ltd. will distribute the broadcast in Asian territories and Viz Media Europe will distribute Tenkai Knights in EMEA territories.

TCG Strengthens Sales Force with New Appointments

In a move to strengthen its Canadian sales force, TCG has promoted Laura Giger to vice president and appointed Moe Merali as sales director. Giger has nearly 20 years of experience as a senior-level consumer packaged goods sales executive, more than half of which have been at TCG. Prior to joining TCG in 2003, she held the positions of national account manager for Hasbro Canada and sales representative for Hugh McIvor Agencies. She will oversee all account relationships in the Canadian market.

Merali joins TCG with more than 10 years of experience in the consumer packaged goods and IT sectors. Prior to joining TCG, he served as sales director Canada at Innovation First International.