China Toy Fair


Madame Alexander Goes International with New Line of Dolls

madamealexanderThe Madame Alexander Doll Company’s new play doll series, Travel Friends–International Collection, will showcase nine countries and encourage children to learn about and embrace a variety of cultures from around the world.

Each doll welcomes kids into her world with a Hello! from her county and offers fun facts and highlights of interesting places to explore in her hometown. The 7-inch dolls are sized for playful portability and crafted with details of each country’s cultures and costumes.

The countries in the series are France, Italy, India, Kenya, Ireland, Mexico, Germany, China, and Russia. The bendable and posable dolls are the first collection in an ongoing Madame Alexander Play series designed for kids ages 3 and up.

Six-Year-Old from Ohio Creates Winning Outfit for Super Lottie

Oct9.LottieUK toymaker Arklu has announced the winning design for its Lottie doll superhero competition, which was part of a campaign launched to demonstrate that girls can be superheroes, too. The contest was independently judged by the Brave Girls Alliance.

The winning design was inspired by 6-year-old Lily from Ohio. As part of her entry, Lily was asked to define Super Lottie’s abilities. She said Lottie’s superpowers should include “the power to be anything, to do anything, and to make the world a better place. She is unique and special in her own way.”

The set marks the first time that a crowd-sourced design by a child has gone into commercial production.

Lottie dolls were created with a focus on maintaining wholesome characteristics. The dolls have a healthy, childlike body shape, wear childlike clothing (no make-up, high heels, or tattoos), and represent wholesome pastimes. This year, Arklu also introduced a range of dolls exploring gender-empowering, adventurous themes.

Lottie’s new outfit and a matching kids costume inspired by Lily’s design are available now.

Hasbro and Disney Enter New Strategic Merchandising Relationship for Disney Princess and Frozen

DisneyPrincessesHasbro Inc. has entered a new strategic merchandising relationship with Disney Consumer Products for the Disney Princess and Frozen properties. The agreement gives Hasbro global rights, excluding Japan, to develop dolls based on Disney Princess stories and characters including Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, and Frozen beginning in 2016.

“We are delighted to have been selected by Disney Consumer Products to develop dolls for the Disney Princess and Frozen franchises,” said Hasbro President & CEO Brian Goldner. “Our strategic thought leadership and innovation has led to the steady growth of our girls business over the past several years, demonstrating that we have a true understanding of girls globally and how today’s girls want to play. [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: Dolls for Boys Are a Sign of the Times

Fritzi, from Haba

For the most recent issue of The Toy Book, I had a chance to research trends in the doll industry, and one that stuck out is an increase in dolls with potential appeal for boys. Arklu, the creator of Lottie Dolls, is planning to introduce its first boy doll, Kite Flyer, this fall. Meanwhile, Haba will be introducing Fritzi, a doll that has no assigned gender—Fritzi can be a boy doll for boys, or a girl doll for girls. There’s also Grandmas2Share, which is marketing grandmother-themed dolls as playthings for children of both genders. [Read more...]

Tonner Haute Couture Wizard of Oz Dolls Still Available for Bidding

WizardofOz.TonnerThere’s still time to bid on haute couture dolls by high-end fashion and costume designers inspired by Dorothy Gale, Glinda the Good Witch, and The Wicked Witch of the West. These collectible dolls were made for Tonner Doll’s collection of 22-inch dolls in celebration of the 75th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz.

Doll designers included Marc Jacobs, Donna Karan Atelier, Hervé Léger by Max Azria, Betsey Johnson, and more.

Earlier this month, Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP) and Tonner Doll Company unveiled the 20-doll collection at Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. The collection is now located at Bloomingdale’s 59th Street flagship in New York City for additional public viewing on the third floor until October 9.

The dolls are still available for bidding on eBay Giving Works at wizardofozdollauction.com until Sunday, with proceeds benefiting Habitat for Humanity as part of the There’s No Place Like Home campaign.

Lalaloopsy Girls Movie to Debut on Nickelodeon

An all-new Lalaloopsy Girls movie, Lalaloopsy Girls: Welcome to L.A.L.A. Prep School, will air on Nickelodeon on September 7 at noon. The one-hour animated special features the new Lalaloopsy Girls students at the Lalaloopsy Academy for Learning Arts, where they learn to navigate the fun and quirky school, attend classes, join clubs, and make friends along the way.

American Girl’s BeForever Line Connects to Stories and Characters from Times Past

AmericanGirl.BeForeverToday, American Girl introduces BeForever, a new line of historical dolls, books, and related accessories that connects girls ages 8 and up with characters and timeless stories from America’s past. First introduced in 1986, and now with a new look, BeForever provides opportunities to explore the past, present, and future.

The BeForever line will debut with eight characters; all-new, historically accurate outfits and accessories for dolls; new and refreshed fiction books; and an original line of historically inspired clothing for girls. The characters include a Nez Perce girl who does her best to be a friend to the earth in 1764, to an optimistic girl who stands up for what’s right in the mid-1970s.

To celebrate the launch of BeForever, American Girl is welcoming back Samantha Parkington to its lineup of historical characters. One of the company’s original characters introduced in 1986, Samantha will be reintroduced with new products, including an ice cream parlor, a bike, a bedroom set, and several new outfits and accessories. [Read more...]

Bunnies By The Bay Introduces Toys in Pretty Girl Line

BBTB BunnyBunnies By The Bay has introduced its new Pretty Girl line, which features toy accessories that have the qualities of a “pretty girl”—Share, Listen, Be Patient, and Care for Others—stitched inside of them.

The toys in the line include several dolls and plush. Fetch Pup, Hoppy Bunny, and Purrty Kitty are 6-inch soft dolls that are outfitted in cream velour and feature striped knit accents. Each comes stitched with its own message: “Patience” in the pup, “Listen” in the bunny, and “Share” in the kitty. Elise is a knit doll that comes with a storybook and measures 14 inches. The collection also includes Shaggy Hoppy, Shaggy Purrty, and Shaggy Fetch plush. They feature shaggy fur, embroidered faces, and measure 10 to 12 inches.

Nenuco Introduces New Soft-Body Baby Dolls

Nenuco & Her Little Sister

Nenuco & Her Little Sister

Nenuco, a European doll manufacturer, has crafted a line of soft-body baby dolls for little girls to feed, bathe, dress, and more. The line is available in three different personalities: My Little Nenuco, My First Nenuco Kisses, and a two-doll set, Nenuco & Her Little Sister.

  • My Little Nenuco, suitable for ages 2 and up, measures 14 inches long, smells sweet, and has a soft body. It arrives dressed in an animal design onesie, hat, shoes, and attached pacifier.
  • My First Nenuco Kisses, suitable for ages 2 and up, measures 16.5 inches long, and comes dressed in a pink and white striped top with pink-dotted pajama bottoms complete with matching striped footsies. [Read more...]

Mattel Launches Entrepreneur Barbie to Inspire Girls Everywhere

EntrepreneurBarbieMattel has launched Entrepreneur Barbie, coinciding with real-life female entrepreneurs gracing the cover of Time‘s Most Influential People issue and leading one-in-five start-ups. To celebrate her newest career, Barbie has partnered with a diverse group of female entrepreneurs, including the founders of Girls Who CodeRent the RunwayOne Kings LanePlum AlleyGenuine InsightsSugarfina, and The TomKat Studio.

Girls and parents can explore inspirational tips, career-themed games, and activities at www.barbie.com, and purchase career dolls available at retailers nationwide.