HoliDAY of Play 2015

The Care Bears Celebrate National #ShareYourCare Day with Giveaway

CareBearsNationalShareYourCareDayMediaAdvisory-September92015-FISeptember 9 is the inaugural National Care Bears #ShareYourCare Day, and to commemorate it, the Care Bears will be on location in the Bronx, N.Y., and teaming up with a local philanthropist to donate plush toys to children in need. Care Bears has also aligned with roughly 300 bloggers, known as the Care Bears #ShareYourCare Ambassadors, who will keep the conversation going to their audiences.

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Care Bears to Debut at Build-A-Bear Workshop Next Year

LogoCareBears450American Greetings Properties (AGP), the intellectual property and outbound licensing division of American Greetings Corporation, has entered into a global collaboration with Build-A-Bear Workshop that will feature the Care Bears brand at Build-A-Bear Workshops. This limited-time worldwide promotion will begin next year.

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COMMENTARY: Toys Meet Theme Parks and Resorts, or, How You’ll Be Spending Your Summer Vacations

Legoland Florida Resort

Last week, one of the big news stories around the toy industry was Nintendo entering a deal with Universal Studios to create rides and other attractions for the latter’s theme parks. As reported on The Toy Book Blog, Nintendo’s most famous video game characters and worlds would serve as the inspiration for these soon-to-be immersive experiences. Imagine the possibilities: Kids, and adults, may soon interact with environments straight out of Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Kart, The Legend of Zelda, or any of the video game maker’s other hit franchises.

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Care Bears Want Fans to #ShareYourCare

SYCgeneralIn a new online campaign, the Care Bears are asking fans to share their care (via the hashtag, #ShareYourCare) and post videos telling the Care Bears how they make the world a better place by showing how they love, care, share, and help others every day. The #ShareYourCare contest will award winners with pre-paid Care Bears-branded Mastercards and themed merchandise.

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COMMENTARY: Toy Companies Are Going to the Crowdsource for Ideas

Quirky,MattellogoWhen it comes to creating great toys, games, or just about anything, it all boils down to the idea. Great things are often borne of flashes of inspiration, and more than ever, we’re seeing toy companies try to tap into the mental spark of their customers.

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Oldies but Goodies: Some of the Biggest Toy Brands of Yesteryear Are Making a Comeback

DebbieDunnHeadshotby Debbie Dunn, Licensing, Marketing, Promotions, & Mom Expert, GennComm LLC

What’s old is new again, and vintage brands are expected to be the biggest hits in the toy aisle for this year. Many of these brands have reinvented themselves in modern ways with digital entertainment content to reach today’s savvy kid consumer, yet they still offer the same trusted attributes that parents–and even grandparents–knew and loved. [Read more...]

Christine Kelly to Head Toy and Game Initiatives for National Geographic’s Brand Licensing Division

ChristineKellyNational Geographic has named Christine Kelly as its director of licensing, toys, and games for National Geographic’s Brand Licensing division. In this new role, she has been tasked with National Geographic’s toy business—both licensing and strategic retail partnerships. She will oversee marketing, retail strategy and product development, including new franchises. [Read more...]

AG Properties and Just Play Launch New Care Bears Toy Line

JustPlay.CareBearsA new partnership between AG Properties (AGP) and Just Play will bring an all-new Care Bears toy line to major retail outlets this fall. The Just Play toy line will feature plush, as well as an assortment of Care Bears figures and play sets that will give children the chance to create special connections and enjoy make-believe adventures.

Arriving at U.S. retailers nationwide in September, the line will feature Cheer Bear, Funshine Bear, Share Bear, Harmony Bear, Tenderheart Bear, and Grumpy Bear, all of which help teach kids about emotions, empathy and caring. The Just Play toys extend an expansive Care Bears consumer reach across multiple categories.

Disguise Renews Agreements with Top Entertainment Properties and Brands

july28 Jakks-Pacific-LogoJakks Pacific Inc. announced that its Halloween costume division, Disguise, has renewed and expanded agreements for multiple top entertainment properties to produce Halloween costumes and accessories launching at retailers nationwide this Halloween season.

Disguise has renewed its licensing contract with American Greetings Properties to create costumes and accessories for the Care Bears property and has expanded their agreement to now include Strawberry Shortcake.

Disguise has also renewed its agreements with Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products and Warner Bros. Consumer Products  to produce costumes and accessories for The Simpsons, Family Guy, and the Austin Powers franchise, which will be available at retailers nationwide for the 2014 Halloween season.

 

COMMENTARY: Animation Has Long Been a Promotional Vehicle for Toys

BrandonEngel1by Brandon Engel

You’ve likely heard about the massive success of The Lego Movie, and maybe you were even one of the millions worldwide who have gone to see it. Despite its financial success, some have blasted the film for essentially being a glorified, expensive commercial for Legos. I don’t think that anyone can deny that The Lego Movie is obviously commercially motivated, but does that make it wrong? Is it all that different from children’s movies selling toys based on the film?

BrandonEngel2Last Christmas, the Frozen Castle Playset and matching Barbie dolls from the Disney film Frozen were at the top of many children’s lists for Santa. Every time a commercial appeared for the movie or the toy, they advertised each other. Is The Lego Movie any different just because the toy existed before the movie? Here is the bigger question: In an age where almost no image is spared licensing of some form, where does the line get drawn between entertainment and commercial? [Read more...]