ToyBacker Launches First-Ever Crowdfunding Site Dedicated to the Toy Industry

ToyBacker.com LOGOToyBacker has launched toybacker.com, the first crowd-funding site dedicated solely to the toy industry. The site will serve as a hub for creative toy innovators of all types to share their ideas, gather funding, and bring their products to fruition with the financial support of the consumer. [Read more...]

Q&A with Willie Wilkov, Chief Marketing Officer, Tomy International

Willie Wilkov CMO TOMYThe Toy Book (TTB): Which licenses do you anticipate will be key drivers in 2015?

Willie Wilkov (WW): 2015 is a big year on the license front for Tomy. We are proud to have the opportunity to work with Disney on two new Disney•Pixar movie properties–Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur– as well as the new Disney Junior TV show Miles from Tomorrowland. While we expect these new licenses to be key drivers for us in 2015, we have a portfolio of licensed properties that perform for us year after year, and we are anticipating growth in those brands as well. John Deere is an evergreen brand with a loyal following that is perennially one of our strongest selling lines company-wide. Our partners at Sega and The Pokémon Company International continue to bring new fans into their incredibly popular franchises, Sonic Boom and Pokémon, with fresh, engaging content, giving us so much to work with in our toy development. In the classic play arena, we see both Chuggington Wooden Railway and Chuggington StackTrack continuing to provide that first train experience for kids and growing with them through their love of train and construction play, while Lamaze maintains its stronghold as a leader in the infant developmental toy aisle. [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...]

Disney Introduces First Latina Princess

DisneyPrincessElena

Disney has introduced its first Latina Princess: Elena of Avalor, a 16-year-old character inspired by “diverse Latin cultures and folklore.” Disney describes Elena as a “bold, caring, funny and clever ascendant to the throne in the fairytale kingdom of Avalor.” [Read more...]

Disney Interactive Launches Disney Infinity: Toy Box 2.0 Mobile App

DisneyInfinityAppforiPhone6PlusDisney Interactive has launched the free Disney Infinity: Toy Box 2.0 app for iPad and iPhone. A new addition to the Disney Infinity game universe, the app features all of the tools and enhanced features of Toy Box 2.0 from Disney Infinity (2.0 Edition), as well as all-new multiplayer functionality so mobile gamers can create Toy Boxes together using favorite Marvel and Disney characters, vehicles, settings, and items.

[Read more...]

Disguise Renews Multi-Year Agreement for Top Disney Property Costumes

Disguiselogo copyDisguise Inc., the Halloween costume division of Jakks Pacific Inc., has renewed its agreement with Disney Consumer Products to create, manufacture, and distribute Halloween costumes and accessories based on top Disney properties. Disguise will continue to build on its Disney costume portfolio with new additions including Big Hero 6, Frozen Fever, Descendants, and Disney Junior’s Miles from Tomorrowland. Costumes for Frozen, Doc McStuffins, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Monsters, Inc., and more will expand this year.

Disguise’s costumes are available in sizes ranging from infant to adult.

Tomy and Disney Consumer Products Team Up for Disney∙Pixar’s Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur

InsideOut,JoyToday, Disney Consumer Products unveiled exclusive details about the new global toy lines for DisneyPixar’s Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur, debuting theatrically in the U.S. on June 19, and November 25, respectively. Both movies will feature toy lines from licensee Tomy.

Tomy’s toy line for Inside Out will include poseable character figures with light-up features, and all of the toys allow for self-expression and re-creation of key movie moments. The toy range for The Good Dinosaur appeals to kids of all ages, for both action figure play and more sophisticated remote control walking and talking. The unique characteristics of the film’s dinosaurs, such as how they move and run, are reflected in the toy line. [Read more...]

Madame Alexander to Debut Limited Edition Disney’s Frozen Elsa Doll at FAO Schwarz

Elsa.closeupwithshoesMadame Alexander will debut a special limited edition Disney’s Frozen Elsa doll at FAO Schwarz in New York City. Designed using the iconic, 21-inch Madame Alexander Cissy doll, the new collectible Elsa features detailed costuming and is decorated with 5,000 hand-applied Swarovski crystals.

She also holds a Swarovski crystal snowflake in her hand, and snowflakes adorn Elsa’s platinum braided hair.

Orders can be placed by calling FAO Schwarz at (212) 644-9400, x3043. Each doll is custom-made for a suggested retail of $5,000.

COMMENTARY: Sibling Rivalries Exist in the Toy World, Too

FrozenproductsA real-life sibling rivalry exists between Disney’s Frozen Elsa and Anna products—with one sister clearly winning. According to a Wall Street Journal article published last month, Disney marketing executives expected the sisters to be equals in popularity. As such, they were caught off-guard by the overwhelming preference for Elsa, who outsells Anna in dolls, toys, costumes, and other items. Disney, in response, makes sure to keep Elsa items in-stock at stores: For example, about 10 percent more Elsa dolls are stocked than Anna ones at Wal-Mart, according to the same Wall Street Journal article.

To help combat the Frozen sibling rivalry, companies are selling dolls with both sisters, and sales data from last holiday season shows that girls want to play with dolls or role-play with costumes featuring both characters. In turn, companies such as Jakks Pacific, as well as retailers like Toys “R” Us, are making and selling products, respectively, that involve the two sisters. [Read more...]

Disney Debuts New Approach to Early Learning with Disney Imagicademy

ImagicademyDisney Publishing Worldwide has created Disney Imagicademy, a technology-driven learning initiative designed for families with children ages 3 to 8 that encourage them to learn by creating, doing, and making. The new platform offers parents a way to expose their children to fundamental educational concepts by combining Disney characters with a research-driven curriculum developed with top academic and education experts.

The integrated program includes more than 30 app-based experiences, a companion app for parents, and books and other physical products. The material covers key subject matters, including math, creative arts, science, language arts, and social and emotional skills. Each in-app experience features progressive early math concepts, including counting forward and backward, sort and classify, skip count, numbers and shapes recognition, reason and logic, and more. The additional physical products and learning toys will be available for back-to-school 2015, featuring items from Smart Toys, Kid Designs, Wonder Forge, and Mercury Active[Read more...]