The Wiggles’ Rock & Roll Preschool Tour Kicks Off in September

WigglesComing off an Australian tour that boasted 145 sell-out shows, the children’s entertainment group, The Wiggles, will return to the U.S. this fall for their Rock & Roll Preschool tour. The Wiggles will be touring in support of their brand new CD and DVD, Rock & Roll Preschool, as well as a new season of their TV series, which airs on Hulu in the U.S. and on Treehouse in Canada.

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Canadian Toy Association Invites Nominations to Board of Directors

CanadianToyAssocLogoThe Canadian Toy Association (CTA) invites all members to submit candidates for seats on the CTA Board of Directors. In accordance with the affiliate agreement between CTA and the U.S. Toy Industry Association (TIA), TIA members with operations in Canada are also eligible to submit candidates for consideration.

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Target Canada to Close All Stores by April 12

Target LogoTarget Canada Co. will complete its inventory liquidation efforts and close the last of its 133 Canadian retail stores to the public on April 12. In addition, Target Canada’s three distribution centers and Mississauga headquarters have been closed.

Liquidator-led fixture sales will continue in some locations. The company has been winding down its operations since January 15, when it obtained an Initial Order for protection from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act.

CTA and TIA Share the Benefits of Using a Canadian Distributor

PrintThe Canadian Toy Association (CTA), an affiliate partner of the Toy Industry Association (TIA), recently asked its members to share the unique perks of partnering with a Canadian distributor. A survey of U.S. TIA members found that Canada is their No. 1 target market for toy, game, and youth entertainment product distribution.

The top four advantages, compiled by CTA, are as follows:

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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.