Lincoln Logs Production Returns to the U.S. with 11 New Sets

Lincoln Logs Horseshoe Hill Station

Lincoln Logs Horseshoe Hill Station

Pride Manufacturing, located in Burnham, Maine, is producing the latest products in the Lincoln Logs line. Part of the K’NEX family of brands, they have been included in K’NEX’s toy line for this year.

The Horseshoe Hill Station set is available now; all other items will be available at retailers this fall. All products are recommended for kids ages 3 and up. The full line is as follows:

[Read more...]

ThinkFun and MakerBot Launch Maker Studio Construction Sets Online at Thingiverse

ThinkFun,MakerStudioThanks to a partnership between MakerBot and ThinkFun, Maker Studio Construction Sets are available for free at MakerBot Thingiverse, a design community for discovering, making, and sharing 3-D printable things. Maker Studio Construction Sets allow ordinary household items to be transformed into engineering-inspired machines, sparking users’ imaginations and interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) subjects.

[Read more...]

Pleyworld’s First Crowdsourced Lego Design Is Now Available

Pley,HippieDirigibleOn April 24, the Hippie Dirigible, by Russian designers Dmitry and Anna Selivanov, became the first design available for rental on Pley.com to Pley users. It took 82 days to gather 5,000 votes from Lego fans worldwide. Pleyworld has now fulfilled its purpose as a Lego fan crowdsourcing website that enables designers to create, share, and distribute their designs.

[Read more...]

Moose Toys Announces 16 New Shopkins Licensees for the U.S. and Canada

ShopkinsLogoMoose ToysShopkins licensed merchandise program for the U.S. and Canadian market has made deals with 16 additional licensees, bringing its total licensee count to 25.

The Licensing Shop Inc. brokered the new deals, and licensees for toys and games include the following:

[Read more...]

Roominate Releases #LetGirlsBuild Video

RoominateCoinciding with National Take Your Daughter to Work Day, Roominate is launching a video encouraging young girls to become whatever they want when they grow up.

[Read more...]

YOXO Arrives in Select Target, Barnes & Noble, and Specialty Retailers across the U.S.

YOXOSpecialty retailers and select Target and Barnes & Noble stores have begun stocking their shelves with YOXO, a construction brand known for encouraging creativity in kids. The construction kits incorporate durable, recyclable, and interchangeable chipboard connectors in Y, O, and X shapes for kids to construct infinite creations powered by their brains and not batteries.
[Read more...]

K’NEX Brings STEM-Based Building Sets Designed to Empower Girls

415533 43533 Mighty Makers Up Up and AwayK’NEX Brands is introducing Mighty Makers, a line of construction toys designed to empower girls through creative and stimulating building ideas. An all-female marketing and design team created the new building sets, intended for girls ages 7 and up, to encourage science, technology, education, and mathematics (STEM) learning.

The sets include colorful rods, connectors, panels, an exploration card for additional educational fun, and engaging story-based instructions that follow the life of a female character included in the set. The Mighty Makers line features the topics of aviation, going green, amusement park rides, making a home, and exploring the depths of the ocean.

New Brackitz Establishes a Base for STEM Learning

BrackitzBrackitz is a new construction toy that promotes STEM learning, using blocks to lay the foundation for higher-level cognitive thinking, reasoning, and problem solving. Sets come in 50, 100, and 200 pieces. Standard sets include interlocking 4-inch wooden planks and 90-degree and 120-degree angle connectors, which can be pieced together to form various models and architectural structures.

Brackitz’ connectors can interlock at different angles and directions, allowing kids to build circles, corners, and bendable structures. Brackitz is suitable for kids ages 3 and up.

Toys “R” Us Extends Hours, Offers Last-Minute Deals for the Holidays

toysrus.croppedIn the days leading up to Christmas, Toys “R” Us will offer extended shopping hours at stores nationwide. From December 20 through December 22, stores will remain open from 6 a.m. until 2 a.m., while beginning at 6 a.m. on December 23, and continuing through 9 p.m. on Christmas Eve, Toys “R” Us stores will be open around the clock.

At Toys “R” Us stores between now and December 20, deals are available on all Barbie dolls, Charmazing kits, Transformers Stomp & Chomp Grimlock, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Combos or Blu-ray combo packs with ear buds and masks, Skylanders Trap Team Starter Packs, LeapTV systems, The Lego Movie DVD with Lego construction set, Imaginext toys, and select board games (while supplies last). [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: China Toy Expo Showcases Regional Toy Brands with Worldwide Potential

DreamBeyond2Toy trade shows are terrific places in which to catch a sneak peek of the next play product sure to take the marketplace by storm. Recently, I was covering China Toy Expo, sponsored by China Toy & Juvenile Products Association, which took place this past week at the Shanghai New International Expo Center in Shanghai. While the show featured plenty of toy brands that would be familiar to Westerners—many of them imported by Chinese companies for domestic distribution—there were also lots of Chinese toy manufacturers on-hand, bearing properties that they hope will do well at home.

And of course, if a product does well in its native market, one assumes there’s a good chance it will gain an international partner that will help it take the next step. Think of Lego, which began selling in Europe during the 1940s before expanding to North America during the ’60s. Not every new toy brand can be Lego, of course; however, it’s always fun to speculate on new products and their potential to become the next big global star due to built-in appeal, compelling features, etc. Here are a few domestically-made items from China Toy Expo, which in this author’s opinion, have a shot at breaking out worldwide. [Read more...]