COMMENTARY: Storytime and Playtime Collide

Storytime Toys Fuses Play Houses with Classic Fairy Tales

It can be really difficult to get kids enthusiastic about reading at a young age. When I was young, my mom gave me an enormous, leather-bound book full of fairy tales. Each page was laden with beautiful graphics and trimmed with gold. After having the stories read to me over and over again, I would use the tales and characters as inspiration for playtime, making my Barbie dolls act as Little Red Riding Hood and Hansel and Gretel.

New specialty toy company Storytime Toys, is making it even easier for kids to incorporate reading into playtime. Kara Dyer and Sara Argue have created a line of toy houses and storybooks based on classic fairy tales. Now, kids can read along to fairy tales including Goldilocks & the Three Bears, Hansel & Gretel, and The Three Little Pigs, while they build a house (or three, in the pigs’ case) that corresponds to each story.

Storytime.H&G

Each house features stunning, hand-painted imagery and comes with furniture and dolls for extended creative play. The pieces of the house can be assembled easily by kids ages 3 to 6. The stories are age-appropriate and will allow kids to associate playtime fun with the concept of reading. [Read more...]

The Magic School Bus Makes Its Way to DVD

This summer, Scholastic and New Video will re-launch The Magic School Bus on DVD. This year marks the 25th anniversary for the Emmy Award-winning series.

On July 31, New Video will release The Magic School Bus: The Complete Series, which features 52 episodes and includes activities and brain busters for parents and kids. This set also features a 3-D lenticular cover; a guide for kids with teasers, trivia, and experiments; and a parents’ guide with lessons and learning options.

Released just in time for Back to School activities will be four Magic School Bus singles, The Human Body, Super Star Power, Takes a Dive, and Takes Flight. Also available will be two three-packs from the series, Blast Off! From Sea to Space and Field Trip Fun and Games, both of which include episodes that have never been released on DVD.

New Video will support the brand with a national marketing and publicity campaign, which includes trade media outlets, partnerships with licensees and science foundations, paid online and social media advertising, outreach to parenting press, mommy bloggers, parenting organizations and play in the top 10 radio markets, and more. The campaign is designed to generate several million consumer impressions this summer and fall.

This post was originally written by Leah Rocketto 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.

Top Toy Trends This Holiday Season, According to Target

This holiday season there will be nearly 7,000 toys featured in Target stores and on Target.com. Stephanie Lucy, vice president of merchandising at Target, shares what she thinks will be the five key toy trends this season and the hot toys that match them.

Interactivity

“One of the key items we selected is Fijit Friends. You look at Fijit and the ability to put it in dance mode, and the voice-recognition and built-in responses. Also, Let’s Rock Elmo is interactive for a much younger child, but we believe interactivity is important.”

[Read more...]