Sweet Suite 2016

Play Fair Offers Attendees Exclusive Fan Experiences

PlayFairPlay Fair will welcome attendees for the first time at New York City’s Javits Center North on February 13 and 14 next year. The inaugural event, hosted by the Toy Industry Association and LeftField Media, will offer families and toy collectors the opportunity to interact with presenting sponsors Lego Systems Inc. and Nickelodeon, as well as toy and family brands, including Mattel, Hasbro, Warner Bros. Pictures, Crayola, and Toys “R” Us.

Play Fair will offer attendees exclusive fan experiences, such as seeing the new Batmobile from Warner Bros. Pictures’ upcoming film, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. They will also meet characters such as Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, build their own Lego car and race down a ramp against other Lego builders, watch episodes of Cartoon Network’s We Bare Bears and Teen Titans GO! comedy series, and more.  [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: Smart Technology Spans New Categories

by Reyne Rice, trend hunter, toy trend expert, industry analyst, and consultant

Resized,Reyne_RiceSmart tech for kids is no longer buzzword lingo. It has become a reality and has grown to encompass so much more than just technology added to toys to make them interesting or “tech-y.” Today, kids’ technology-enhanced products offer engaging and explorative play patterns that span a wide spectrum of categories. And while there are new technologies being used in these toys, the thrill is in the play experience, not in the technology itself. New technology enhances and extends play patterns way beyond how kids were playing in past decades. Plus, parents, older siblings, caregivers, and educators are all using new technology that companies are translating into toys and tech products for kids’ worldwide.

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Friendly’s and Crayola Team Up to Offer Designable Ice Cream Cake

CrayolaIceCreamCakeFriendly’s Ice Cream LLC is combining forces with Crayola to introduce the Crayola Decorate Your Own Ice Cream Cake. Each ice cream cake is topped with freshly whipped icing, and serves as an edible artist’s canvas that can be customized with packets of blue and red icing, rainbow confetti, and green and yellow sprinkles included with every package. Friendly’s new Crayola Decorate Your Own Ice Cream Cake is handmade at Friendly’s creamery in Wilbraham, Mass., and features vanilla and chocolate ice cream separated by chocolate crunchies.

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Skylanders Unveils Easter Toys, Partners with Crayola on Color Alive! Starter Pack

Skylanders Trap Team is showing the Easter spirit with three limited edition toys: Eggsellent Weeruptor, Power Punch Jet-Vac, and a Bunny Earth Trap. Weeruptor and Jet-Vac are Minis characters made specifically for Easter, featuring pastel colors and an egg-shaped package. The Bunny Earth Trap, meanwhile, has a bunny-themed design.

[Read more...]

COMMENTARY: At Toy Fair 2015, Classic, Low-Tech Play Is Alive and Well

Crayola Cling Maker, from Crayola

Tech toys that make you feel cooler than Marty McFly were in abundance at the North American International Toy Fair this week, such as robots that imitate your movements and a Segway-like device that tracks your thoughts. But not all of the toys at the Jacob K. Javits Center were reminiscent of what Captain Kirk probably played with as a child. There were also some stellar construction sets, high-quality hand puppets, and wooden toys that make you say, “wow.” Classic play is not dead, and not all quality toys require a microchip. Some of the most innovative new products for kids feature little to no tech at all. Here are our favorite low-tech new toys from Toy Fair: [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: Toy Fair 2015 Shows Off Toymakers’ Tech-Savvy Side

The Meccanoid G15 KS, from Spin Master

We all know that kids are more tech-savvy at the age of 2 than most of us will ever be. Living in the digital age comes instinctively for kids, and the fact that they have the ability to understand and use technology so early on lets toy manufacturers create some really, really cool tech toys for kids of all ages. Below is a roundup of favorite tech-y playthings from North American International Toy Fair, in no particular order:
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TOTY Awards Recognize the Most Outstanding Toys and Games of the Year

TOTY2015logoHundreds of global toy executives and guests gathered in New York City this past Saturday to pay tribute to the toy industry’s best and brightest toys, games and individuals at the 15th Annual Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards and Toy Industry Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

Zoomer Dino, from Spin Master, took home the overall Toy of the Year award prize and was named Boy Toy of the Year. Spin Master’s pet dinosaur lets kids train it to sit, speak, and react to commands. Crayola‘s Paint Maker, a customizable arts and crafts kit, earned the People’s Choice award and was also named Activity Toy of the Year. [Read more...]

Kerry Cunnion Named New Head of North American Toys for Tomy International

Kerry Cunnion has been promoted to senior vice president, sales and North American toy, for Tomy International. In this new role, he will oversee design, product development, and product marketing in addition to continuing his role leading Tomy International’s North American sales force.

Cunnion joined the company in 2009 as vice president of sales for the Mother, Infant and Toddler business unit, and brings three decades of consumer product sales experience. In 2011, he assumed responsibility for the integrated sales organization.

Prior to Tomy, Cunnion held various sales and marketing positions with organizations including Publications International, Huffy Bicycle Company, and Crayola.

Madame Alexander and Crayola Enter Licensing Agreement Beginning This Year

MadameAlexanderlogoA new line of co-branded dolls will combine Madame Alexander with Crayola. Madame Alexander will design and develop new doll collections that allow girls to craft and draw on age appropriate dolls and doll accessories. The DIY products are intended to appeal to toddlers, preschoolers, and young girls. [Read more...]

Activision Unveils Special Edition Crayola Color Alive! Skylanders Trap Team Starter Pack, Cereal Boxes from General Mills

Feb9.SkylandersActivision Publishing has partnered with General Mills and Crayola for new products that will bring the Skylanders experience to fans. Beginning on February 14, fans in North America can play an interactive version of the Skylanders Skystones mini-game on specially marked Big-G cereal boxes, with packs located inside boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Reese’s Puffs, Trix, Lucky Charms, and more. [Read more...]