Nickelodeon to Launch Nick Jr. App

March17.NickJrAppThe same Nickelodeon digital team that created the Nick App has developed the new Nick Jr. App, which will launch this spring. The app is designed specifically for preschoolers and will feature educational activities, a high level of interactivity, short-form video and curriculum-based content, and full-length on-demand episodes and live streaming of Nick Jr. with authentication.

The Nick Jr. App includes the television series Dora the Explorer, Team Umizoomi, Bubble Guppies, PAW Patrol, Peter Rabbit, Wallykazam!, Go, Diego, Go!, Max & Ruby, The Fresh Beat Band, The Backyardigans, and Blues Clues.

The app will be available for the iPad at the App Store and will roll out on additional platforms in the coming months.

Nickelodeon Suites Resort Hosts Power Rangers Weekends in February

PowerRangersSuperMegaforceNickelodeon Suites Resort will host Power Rangers weekends with two Power Rangers Super Megaforce-themed celebrations on February 14 to 17 and February 21 to 23. These weekends include activities for guests such as a super-charged Power Rangers lunch, featuring training sessions with all five Power Rangers; up close and personal meet and greets; Power Rangers-themed activities and crafts; and a sneak peek screening of an all-new episode of Power Rangers Super Megaforce.

In addition to the Power Rangers, SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will be on-hand to celebrate these weekends with meet and greets, live shows, games, and prizes.

Guests can book a Power Rangers Super Megaforce weekend stay by visiting NickHotel.com/Power-Rangers.

Nickelodeon Teams Up with KidKraft for Dora Inspired Wooden Toys

NICKELODEON DORA THE EXPLORER TOYSNickelodeon and KidKraft have partnered to create a line of designer wooden toys, doll furniture, and accessories featuring Dora from the Dora the Explorer series. The new line of products includes a lifelike kitchen and dollhouse, both standing at almost four feet tall.

Dora’s Dollhouse features 13 wooden crafted furniture pieces and colorful artwork to reflect the animated style throughout the Dora the Explorer series. Similar to the dollhouse, the Dora Kitchen is made of wood, includes a removable sink for quick and easy cleaning, convenient storage space under the sink, functional cabinet doors that open, and wooden pegs for cooking accessories

The Dora Kitchen and Dollhouse are available this summer. Additionally, doll furniture and accessories will be introduced to the line later this year.

COMMENTARY: Musical Toys

Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of watching a live jazz band play at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The musicians seemed to thoroughly enjoy the set, and everyone in the audience was having a blast. Remembering my own days in the school band and piano recitals, I thought about how kids can be influenced early on by musical toys and instruments. Here are some of my favorites:

The Recorder

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Stripe Recorder, from Sassafras

A classic. I can almost hear “Hot Cross Buns” just by looking at one. Recorders, while often a symbol of fourth-grade music class, can actually be a gateway into other instruments for kids. While the standard plastic, beige soprano recorder reigns supreme among young players, there are alternatives, such as Melissa and Doug’s Makin’ Music wooden recorder, Sassafras’ Stripe Recorder, or colorful recorders from 1stNote. Alfred Music Publishing offers songbooks featuring tunes from The Wizard of Oz, Looney Tunes, and others.

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30 Key Fancy Baby Grand, from Schoenhut

The Piano

FirstAct offers a Dora the Explorer electronic keyboard for kids to explore music and try out different sound effects. Kids that want a more classical experience can enjoy Schoenhut’s 30 Key Fancy Baby Grand toy piano. For the youngest pianists, Hasbro offers the Sesame Street Let’s Rock Cookie Monster keyboard, featuring one octave of wide, easy-to-press keys.

The Drums

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Learn To Play Electronic Keyboard, from Discovery Kids

Kids that are more rhythmically inclined will enjoy Discovery Kids’ Learn To Play Electronic Drumpad. The battery-operated drumpad features drum sticks and adjustable tempo. Kids can follow the light patterns to play any of eight different rhythms. Union’s Toy Drum set features a bass drum, crash cymbal, and snare drum for little drummers to rock and roll. For a more laid-back beat, Remo’s Kids Bongo lets kids bang it out in colorful style, and are pitched high and low.

What are your kids’ favorite instruments? Let us know in the comment section!

For more commentary from Christine, check back often. Views expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Toy Book as a whole. We hope that you will share your comments and feedback below. Until next time!

Nickelodeon, Fuhu Inc. Sign Multi-Year Deal

NICKELODEON NABI JR. TABLETS

Nickelodeon and Fuhu Inc. have signed a multi-year deal to produce and distribute Nickelodeon-themed tablet accessories and nabi Jr. tablets pre-loaded with the network’s content. The first release of the partnership is the recently launched, touchscreen nabi Jr. tablet, filled with educational apps, games, and videos, from Nickelodeon preschoolseries including, Dora the ExplorerTeam Umizoomi, and Bubble Guppies. This spring, a line of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles-inspired mobile tablet accessories, such as character bumpers, Kinabis, and stands, will be available nationwide.

Additionally, Fuhu, Inc. is an associate sponsor of Nickelodeon’s 26th Annual Kids’ Choice Awards, airing March 23 from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Sing Along with Dora in Brand-New Primetime Special, Dora Rocks!

Nickelodeon invites preschoolers to jam with Dora in the brand-new Dora the Explorer primetime special, ”Dora Rocks!” premiering  January 14 at 7 p.m. The half-hour adventure gives kids the opportunity to practice their musical skills and play interactive games learning geometry and catchy Spanish words and phrases. Emmy award-winning Dora the Explorer currently reaches more preschoolers than any other show on television and averages 1.5 million total viewers.  [Read more...]

Toy & Game Industry Luminaries Celebrate Inventors at Annual Industry Gala

As part of the Chicago Toy & Game Week, industry leaders from 18 countries gathered at the Chicago Field Museum of Natural History for the 5th Annual Toy and Game Inventors Awards, known as “The TAGIEs,” to honor the creators of some of the world’s best known playthings.

Nearly 400 industry movers-and-shakers gathered for the event, at which famed inventor Bruce Lund gave a keynote address after being introduced by a full-sized marching band. Kevin Harrington, chairman of As Seen On TV, Inc., and “Shark Investor” on the show Shark Tank was also in attendance to present the Young Inventor of the Year Award.  [Read more...]

The Little Gym Partners with Nickelodeon To Host Official Dora the Explorer Birthday Parties

Parents seeking a birthday adventure for their children soon will be able to grab their backpacks and head to The Little Gym. Nickelodeon and The Little Gym International have announced a partnership that will bring Dora the Explorer-themed birthday parties to the more than 210 The Little Gym locations in the United States.

The Little Gym, the leading experiential learning and child physical development center for ages four months through 12 years, will become the exclusive host of Dora the Explorer-themed birthday parties during its 2012-2013 season. The company has worked with Nickelodeon to create a special birthday party curriculum that includes a storyline and music from the Emmy award-winning animated preschool series. The Little Gym’s trained instructors will lead children through a Dora adventure featuring encounters with Backpack, Map, and other characters from Dora’s world.

The Little Gym expects to also add Go, Diego, Go!-themed parties later in the 2012-2013 season.

To locate the nearest The Little Gym location, please visit www.thelittlegym.com.

VTech to Offer Downloadable Nickelodeon Episodes on InnoTab 2

VTech Electronics North America, LLC, is partnering with Nickelodeon to bring a number of animated series to the InnoTab 2. Beginning late August, episodes of Nickelodeon’s hit animated series including Dora the Explorer, SpongeBob SquarePants, and Bubble Guppies, will be available for download from VTech’s Learning Lodge Navigator.

The InnoTab 2 learning tablet gives kids ages 3 to 9 their own 5-inch touch-screen tablet with free onboard activities to get them started, and a new rotatable digital camera and video recorder. This sleek and durable toy also comes equipped with a tilt sensor, photo viewer, video player, MP3 music player, e-reader, art studio, microphone and more. The InnoTab 2 also features 2GB of onboard memory and an expandable SD card slot for up to 32GB more storage capacity.

Nickelodeon videos will be sold in bundles of three episodes and individually. Starting in October, the videos will also be available for download on VTech’s original InnoTab. The InnoTab 2 hits store shelves in mid-August.

This post was originally written by Sierra McCleary-Harris and published by ToyBook.com. For more news, visit www.toybook.com, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.

Nick Toy Machines Featured in 100 Simon Malls

Nickelodeon debuted its first virtual Nick Toy Machines last weekend at 100 Simon malls across the country. Inspired by the classic vending machine, each virtual Nick Toy Machine is a colorful, double-sided standee (seven-foot tall and 3.5-feet wide) that shoppers can walk up to, scan, and buy Nickelodeon toys from via smartphones.

The Nick Toy Machine features images of Dora the Explorer and Victorious toys, along with a corresponding QR code that allows shoppers to quickly “scan and buy” gifts using their smartphones. The Nick Toy Machines are placed in high-traffic areas.

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