Activision 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...]
Activision Unveils Special Edition Crayola Color Alive! Skylanders Trap Team Starter Pack, Cereal Boxes from General Mills
Today, the Toy Industry Association (TIA) announced the 83 finalists for the prestigious 2015 Toy of the Year Awards (TOTY). Between now and January 11, toy consumers of all ages can visit www.toyawards.org to vote for their favorite toys, games, and properties across 12 categories.
The 2015 finalists were selected from more than 600 nominees submitted for consideration by 159 companies. Sixty academics, journalists, toy trend experts, play therapists, toy inventors and designers, and toy retailers staffed the nomination committees that narrowed the field to the slate of finalists.
Votes from mass retailers, specialty toy retailers, media, TIA members, and consumers will be weighted and used to determine each of the 12 category winners. The winners—including the overall Toy of the Year and the People’s Choice awards—will be announced at the TOTY Awards ceremony held on February 13, 2015 as the kick-off to the 112th North American International Toy Fair. [Read more...]
Macy’s will be introducing the Holiday Arcade, in-store gifting shops offering customers an eclectic assortment of distinctive and playful options for their holiday shopping lists. These shops will launch at six Macy’s locations between late October and mid-November:
- Macy’s South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, Calif.
- Macy’s Union Square in San Francisco, Calif.
- Macy’s Dadeland in Miami, Fla.
- Macy’s State Street in Chicago, Ill.
- Macy’s Herald Square in New York, N.Y.
- Macy’s Center City in Philadelphia, Pa.
The Holiday Arcade at five locations including Macy’s South Coast Plaza, Macy’s Union Square, Macy’s State Street, Macy’s Herald Square, and Macy’s Center City will be home to exclusive Build-A-Bear Workshop shop-in-shops. Visitors will have the opportunity to customize Build-A-Bear stuffed animals, as well as licensed products such as figures from Disney’s Frozen and Marvel’s superheroes. [Read more...]
Early next year, Crayola will launch Color Alive!, the first augmented reality product offering among its growing digital portfolio. Partnering with leading 4-D company DAQRI, Color Alive! will feature a unique offline and online play experience through color and 4-D technology, allowing kids to bring their coloring to life.
Children activate the 4D Experience through the Color Alive! app, aiming their device’s camera at the colored page to bring the drawing to life. The included Magic Crayon transforms coloring by activating special effects through drawing on the page in real-time. Kids can also interact and take photos with the coloring book characters.
Color Alive! will be available at select retailers beginning in December, with a nationwide debut in February. The Color Alive! app is available on iOS, Android, and Windows smartphones and tablets, as well as iPod Touch. At launch, Color Alive! will be available in four coloring books: Mythical Creatures, Enchanted Garden, Skylanders, and Barbie.
This past Monday, Lionel opened its first retail store in Concord, N.C. The new location will serve as a central station for popular train sets, replicas, and collectibles, as well as store-exclusive gifts and keepsakes.
To celebrate the new store, which will also serve as the company’s new headquarters, Lionel President Howard Hitchcock drove festivities with J. Scott Padgett, the mayor of Concord, and Donna Carpenter, the CEO of the Cabarrus County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The store will become a terminal for field trips, new product testing, and company announcements. The 1,100-square-foot space will house one of Lionel’s fully decorated layouts, which will feature different trains throughout the year. Kids can control the layout with handheld remotes and test the newest trains.
Lionel has made numerous expansion efforts of late, including partnering with the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago to debut its first life-sized trackless train ride, The Lionel Train Adventure, earlier this month. The company has also continued to add licenses for new train models through partnerships with DC Comics, Coca-Cola, Crayola, and other brands.
Despite being half a world away, the concerns and demands of toy consumers in China are not all that different from their U.S. counterparts, according to China Toy Expo.
The first day of the trade fair, along with China Kids Expo and China Licensing Expo—all hosted by China Toy & Juvenile Products Association—kicked off this past Tuesday in sprawling fashion at the Shanghai New International Expo Center in Shanghai. Across three days, 1,364 global brands were on display, and roughly 80,000 visitors were expected to participate.
Recent news shows reasons to be optimistic about the Chinese toy market’s future, including the country’s overtaking of the U.S. in terms of purchasing power. Yet based on the flow of crowds at the show, many of the types of toys that Chinese consumers are especially interested in are ones promoting sustainability, safety, and educational development. [Read more...]
The Crayola line will include no-mess color wonder products, coloring pads and pages, giant coloring pages, interactive color-by-number activity sheets, and a variety of color and sticker sets based on the TV series.
The Power Rangers items are expected to launch next fall, starting with products themed around the upcoming season of Saban’s Power Rangers Dino Charge.
These days, it’s pretty crucial for toy companies to be as innovative as possible. But sometimes, providing kids with a new take on an old-school toy or game is just as effective. Sure, kids are ridiculously interested in tablets, iPhones, and computers, but when it comes to play the rules haven’t changed all that much. Although kids are now growing up in the “digital age,” they are always going to love running, jumping, laughing, and exerting energy in a physical way.
Toys such as pogo sticks, Skip-Its (my favorite), and sidewalk chalk were staples throughout my childhood, and contrary to those who believe kids are actually digital robots, they remain favorites for children growing up now, too.
I never got around to mastering the pogo stick, but this bouncing device still remains a popular activity for kids of all ages. The Kidoozie Pogo Jumper from International Playthings offers kids a lot of hop, but enhances the fun by adding a built-in speaker that squeaks with every bounce. [Read more...]
Lionel has expanded its partnerships with Warner Bros., Coca-Cola, and Peanuts. As a result of these agreements, this year will see a number of new G-Gauge and Ready to Run O-Gauge train sets, including Frosty the Snowman, Coca-Cola Holiday, and Snoopy Railways. The model train maker also enjoys a new license with Crayola.
“Lionel Trains is bringing the nostalgia of iconic train sets to the hearts of fans of all ages,” said Howard Hitchcock, SVP/GM of Lionel. “By securing new licenses and expanding partnerships to grow our G-Gauge and Ready to Run O-Gauge platforms, we’re putting trains from familiar and beloved brands into the hands of children of all ages.”
After Toy Fair 2013, the words “and there’s an app!” were ringing in my ears for weeks. This year, however, appcessories seemed more like a taboo than anything else, with most companies shying away from toys with app-enhanced features or reliability. Honestly, it was less than disappointing. I think keeping screen time and toy time separate is perfectly acceptable, and apparently, what kids and toy buyers prefer.
This year will truly mark a return to traditional play patterns. Rainbow Loom, a simple bracelet-making kit for kids, was huge in 2013, eventually snagging four Toy of the Year (TOTY) awards, including the overall Toy of the Year. That said, Toy Fair 2014 brought tons of cool innovations in the activities category, with companies fighting to be the next big thing once the Rainbow Loom craze comes to an end. [Read more...]