China Toy Fair


10 Board Games You Shouldn’t Miss Before Stepping to Adulthood

by Pam Johnson

The great journey of adulthood will happen to us all. However, before you get there, it’s time to enjoy these fun and amusing board games.

Candy Land

Don’t even try to get to adulthood without playing Candy Land! This amusing game has been entertaining children of all ages for decades and decades, and you simply cannot miss it.

Monopoly Jr.

While one of the games can still take hours to complete, Monopoly Jr. is more suitable for a younger crowd than the standard version. Youngsters can certainly learn some basic counting skills while having a lot of fun.

Real Monopoly

Before making that final leap into the world of adults, it’s time to get out the board and play some real Monopoly. You’ll get a chance to see what it’s like to own some real estate and handle some seriously large amounts of money in your own hands! [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: Candy Land Makeover Causing Controversy Across the Board Games

Great attention is paid to that fine line between self-expression and growing up far too fast when it comes to children, tweens, and teenagers. It seems as though self-esteem issues and body-image obsessions are stemming from less-obvious outlets though, namely Candy Land, a board game we all know and love. A wasp-waisted, more-suggestive Queen Frostine has replaced the original Princess, Grandma Nutt found a plastic surgeon, and Mr. Mint’s biceps have tripled in size. The irony lies in the doubled portions of ice cream and candy; the board is now covered in sweets, while the peanuts and plums have been removed from the 1980s version. So, the real question is: How is Queen Frostine maintaining that figure?

540136_10200923579191139_1857708566_n Candyland-1980s

Left: Candy Land as it appears in stores today. Right: Candy Land as it appeared during my generation: the 80s and 90s. 

Related topics have been discussed for decades, maybe centuries: too-revealing clothing, unfortunate celebrity role models, and the struggle with self-esteem. Writers like Peggy Orenstein, author of Cinderella Ate my Daughter, and Rachel Marie Stone, author of Eat With Joy, tackle issues regarding Princess-culture and GI-Joe repercussions, while many argue that the rhetoric is overly sensitive and dramatized. Are toys and games taken at face value, or are they sending messages that are affecting the esteem of youngsters? Stone points out that research has proven that from a young age, boys and girls struggle with self-image due to the damage left by media and societal expectations.

Orenstein states, “When our kids play with toys that we played with, we assume that they are the same toys. So, what’s the big deal? The big deal is that it’s not the same at all. It just has the same name. And the images our kids are exposed to from the youngest ages are so distorted.”

Candy Land is not the only nostalgic toy taking heat for putting child-like figures on a diet. Lately, Barbie, Rainbow-Brite, Strawberry Shortcake, Dora, My Little Ponies, and even Care Bears have taken on drastic transformations. In defense of toymakers everywhere, it may be argued that they are simply following the trends of toy sale demographics. This is a sticky subject, and it’s difficult to decipher where the problem lies. Are we being too sensitive, or are we glorifying unrealistic expectations for children?

For more commentary from Kara, check back often. 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!

The Strong Announces National Toy Hall of Fame Finalists

Courtesy of Toy Industry Association

After reviewing thousands of nominations submitted this year by toy lovers of all ages, The Strong in Rochester, Ny., has announced the 12 nominees for induction into the National Toy Hall of Fame. Two finalists will be inducted on Thursday, November 15.

The finalists for 2012 are: Clue, dominoes, Fisher-Price Corn Popper, Lite-Brite, little green army men, Magic 8 Ball, pogo stick, sidewalk chalk, Simon, Star Wars action figures, tea set, and Twister. The selected winners will join the ranks of 49 toy luminaries already in the Hall of Fame, including Candy Land, cardboard box, Crayola Crayons, Duncan Yo-Yo, Mr. Potato Head, Radio Flyer Wagon, and Tinkertoy.

Top 20 Chosen by Children’s Museum Visitors and Fans

The results are in and more than 20,000 Children’s Museum of Indianapolis online visitors and fans have voted for their favorite toys from the last century. It is all part of the “100 Toys (& their Stories) that Define Our Childhood” interactive in which the museum asked people to choose the top 20 toys to represent the last 100 years. This list of 20 iconic toys includes: G.I. Joe, Transformers, Lego Toys, Barbie, View-Master, Bicycle, Play-Doh, Crayons, Cabbage Patch Kids, Monopoly, Etch a Sketch, Spirograph, Hot Wheels, Candy Land, Lincoln Logs, Raggedy Ann, Little Golden Books, Mr. Potato Head, Roller Skates, and Silly Putty.

The public is once again invited to vote for their favorites among the top 20 to rank the toys, which will ultimately determine the Gold, Silver, and Bronze winners.

Voting to determine the final order for the top 20 runs through Sept. 7, and results will be announced to the public on September 11. To view the top 20 list of toys, vote, and share your own toy story, visit The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis online at www.childrensmuseum.org/100toys.

This post was originally written by Sierra McCleary-Harris and published by ToyBook.com. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.

Sony Pictures Animation to Bring Tonka Trucks To Big Screen

Tonka, the Hasbro brand that for 65 years has been best known for its line of toy trucks for children, will soon grace the big screen in a fully-animated motion picture to be produced by Sony Pictures Animation, Hasbro, and Happy Madison Productions.

The film will also be produced and developed by Goldner and Hasbro’s senior vice president and managing director of motion pictures, Bennett Schneir, and will be written by Fred Wolf.

The new Tonka project is in addition to several others in the works between Sony Pictures and Hasbro. Sony Pictures is developing motion pictures based on Hasbro’s Risk and Candy Land brands. Candy Land is also a Happy Madison project.

Tonka has been the bestselling toy truck globally since 1947.

This post was originally written by Loren Moreno and published by ToyBook.com. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.

Hasbro Revs Up Its Licensing Programs

The Entertainment & Licensing (E&L) division of Hasbro, Inc. has announced a slate of licensing programs to support its brands, including Transformers, Nerf, Littlest Pet Shop, My Little Pony, Monopoly, and Playskool.

Hasbro, in association with DreamWorks Pictures and Paramount Pictures, will debut Transformers 3 on July 1, 2011. The company’s licensees for the Transformers brand include comic books from IDW (U.S.), digital games from Activision (worldwide), and more.

Hasbro is also teaming up with Universal Pictures to bring Stretch Armstrong and Battleship to the big screen in summer 2012. Universal will also produce films based on Hasbro’s Monopoly, Candy Land, and Ouija. Theater release dates have not been announced.

Hasbro recently reached an agreement with The Sports Licensed Division of the adidas Group for a NERF-inspired apparel and footwear line (deal is still subject to the companies negotiating and has yet to be signed into a binding license agreement). Additionally, Electronic Arts has signed on for NERF digital gaming (worldwide), SDI Technologies has inked a deal for NERF electronics (U.S.), and Performance Design Products will create NERF digital gaming hardware accessories (worldwide).

[Read more...]