Target Corporation to Discontinue Canadian Operations

Target LogoTarget Corporation will discontinue operating stores in Canada through its indirect wholly owned subsidiary, Target Canada Co. As a part of that process, this morning Target Canada filed an application for protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Toronto. [Read more...]

American Girl Looking Forward to a Year Full of Grace

Grace_Doll_and_Book-Hi_Res_highresAmerican Girl has debuted its 2015 Girl of the Year: Grace Thomas, an avid baker with an entrepreneurial spirit. Motivated to follow her dream of starting a baking business after an inspiring trip to Paris, Grace is available for only one year. Her collection includes an 18-inch Grace doll featuring long, dark-brown hair and sparkling blue eyes, plus several French-inspired outfits, accessories, and toys that reflect her interests, such as a premium French Bakery Set with more than 60 pieces. [Read more...]

Robert Bauer to Serve as Director of Sales for Rubie’s Canada

rubielogoRobert Bauer has joined Rubie’s Canada as its director of sales. He brings more than 20 years of experience in independent account sales, specifically in the Halloween and party industries. Bauer also brings an in-depth knowledge of the Canadian market, based on many years of experience in developing products and programs for every sector.

Bauer will be responsible for sales at the company’s independent accounts throughout Canada, working closely with senior executives at both Rubie’s Canada and Rubie’s USA.

Time Definitely Flies for PowerUp 3.0

PowerUp3.0A year ago this month, inventor Shai Goitein of PowerUp Toys launched a Kickstarter campaign for PowerUp 3.0, which generated more than $1.2 million and became one of the top funded programs in the flight category. Today, the innovative Bluetooth-enabled paper airplane toys are sold exclusively at Mastermind Toys stores across Canada and in various specialty U.S. retailers.

In 2013, PowerUp Toys launched a Kickstarter page with a goal of $50,000 to fund PowerUp 3.0, a Bluetooth-enabled paper airplane that can be controlled directly from a smart phone app. The campaign reached its funding goal within eight hours. Shortly after the Kickstarter shipments of PowerUp 3.0 were flown overseas to more than 100 different countries, PowerUp 3.0 debuted at the EAA AirVenture Air Show and was made available to the general public on poweruptoys.com.

“Thanks to the overwhelming support of our Kickstarter backers, PowerUp 3.0 was able to get off the ground and capture the attention of major influencers,” says Goitein, inventor and president of PowerUp Toys. “This past year has been an amazing ride and it isn’t over yet. We are always looking to the future and dedicating ourselves to wonders of science and play so that we can create the next big thing for our fans.”

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.