Q&A with Mattel: Social Media, 3-D Printing, and More

logo_Mattel logoThe Toy Book (TTB): In what new ways are you using social media to correspond directly with consumers?

Mattel: We engage with consumers across all brand and corporate social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, as well as retailer sites, like Wal-Mart and Kohl’s. At Mattel, we have a fully functioning reporting and engineering team dedicated to understanding what the consumer is saying and turning that data into actionable improvements for both our manufacturing and design process.

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Q&A with Tony Norman, Co-Founder, President and CEO, Innovation First International

Hexbug.TonyNormanThe Toy Book (TTB): How do you use 3-D printing in your R&D? Do you plan to incorporate 3-D printing into your consumer offerings in the future?

Tony Norman (TN): We have three commercial-grade 3-D printers at Hexbug headquarters that run pretty much continuously. Design is iterative, and our 3-D printers enable us to engage in rapid prototyping. This rapid prototyping allows us to get real working samples out to focus groups quickly and frequently, so as to gather feedback and make the necessary changes prior to starting production. This highly accelerated production process significantly reduces our time to market and sets us apart from other toy companies.
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Hasbro and BuzzFeed Team Up for Global Monopoly Here & Now Campaign

Hasbro-logo-jpgIn celebration of the Monopoly brand’s 80th anniversary, Hasbro Inc. has teamed up with BuzzFeed to ask fans to choose which great cities around the world will be featured as property spaces in new Monopoly Here & Now games, which are launching this fall. [Read more...]

Fisher-Price Launches Best Possible Start Campaign with Parents from Around the World

This past Friday, Fisher-Price Inc. released a short film entitled Wishes for Baby, marking the official launch of its Best Possible Start marketing campaign. Directed by Patrick Creadon, and filmed with real parents from around the world on New Year’s Day and during the final days of December of last year, the short film is intended to capture the love and hopes all parents share for their children during their first moments.

The production involved more than 50 crew members around the world, in seven countries over five continents and in 10 hospitals, shooting the births of 27 babies and the first wishes of 26 families. More than 15 hours of raw footage was scoured through and edited within 24 hours in order to produce the 90-second film.


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CafePress Launches Holiday Giving Campaign for Toys for Tots

CafePress

A collaborative effort launched today between CafePress, the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Foundation, Hasbro, and My Life Games LLC will help provide children in need with toys at the holidays.

Through this first-year campaign, CafePress will provide consumers with three different ways to support Toys for Tots, including $1 donated for every Facebook “Share” given to the video entitled, “Toys for Tots: Every Child Deserves a Little Christmas.” Other means include $1 donated from the final purchase price of all customizable Monopoly and Scrabble games sold on cafepress.com; and $2 donated from the sale of two special edition T-shirts, each priced at $7.

“We are honored to support Toys for Tots this holiday season,” said Fred Durham, CEO and co-founder of CafePress. “To be able to support their noble efforts by donating a portion of proceeds of games known for bringing families together is ideal.”

Outfit7 and Toyze Team Up for 3-D Printable Talking Tom

TalkingTomOutfit7 Limited has signed a licensing agreement for its Talking Tom and Friends franchise with Toyze, an app store for 3-D-printed customizable game characters. Users will be able to customize Talking Tom and Friends characters into 3-D models, share their creations on social channels, and bring them to life as 3-D-printed toys.

Talking Tom is currently available on Toyze’s app at both Google Play and the App Store.

Toyze offers two options to model and produce toys. First is the free app for 3-D customization: The company’s intuitive, in-app 3-D editor allows users to personalize characters in 3-D view, add accessories and attributes, play with poses and sizes, and build their collections. Once completed, users can share their creation via Facebook, Instagram, and email with friends and family.

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COMMENTARY: Games, and Game-Players, Are Getting More Mobile All the Time

Nowadays, everything seems to be changing, from communicating to ordering dinner to dating. The same goes with the way we’re playing games.

We’ve known for years that games were becoming social. People (ahem, Gen X-ers) still send out Candy Crush and Farmville requests on the ever-dissolving Facebook. However, instead of these communally competitive games, new mobile apps are actually bringing players together to compete in a face-to-face (or screen-to-screen?) arena. For the most part, these apps are free (or cheap) to own, filling up the game cabinet without the expense of buying new extensions and themes of the same games.

1017181_150945871760166_378131469_nCards Against Humanity—a spin-off of the much more tame Apples to Apples card game—is a crowd favorite among my hometown friends. So when Evil Apples, a mobile version loosely based on both games from Evil Studios Ltd., was released for iOS devices, my hometown friends and I were brought back together in a competitively disturbing way. Users can prompt friends to download the app and join the game. Once everyone signs on, the game begins as players try to come up with the funniest–and most disturbingly wrong–phrases. There’s even a chat feature in the game for players to comment–or to remind stragglers that the game is waiting on their card. [Read more...]

Lalaloopsy Fans Invited to Help Break Pajama Party World Record

Lalal.PJPartybanner In just under two weeks, the Lalaloopsy World’s Largest PJ Party is scheduled to take place, in which MGA Entertainment will attempt to break the official Guinness World Record for most slumber party participants in multiple locations. The current record stands at 34,000 girls.

LG.PJParty.cheatsheetLalaloopsy’s World’s Largest PJ Party will be held on November 15 from 7 to 10 p.m. ET, with live tweets and Facebook posts at twitter.com/lalaloopsy and facebook.com/lalaloopsy, respectively, from the event. Anyone can join the fun using the hashtag #LalaPJParty, and participants will have a chance to win prizes, answer trivia questions, and enjoy Lalaloopsy activities.

The graphic above has a checklist of items that PJ partygoers may want to gather in advance. In addition, fun graphics to print and use in Lala-selfies during the party can be downloaded from the following Dropbox site.

Mega Brands Partners with UP&L for Despicable Me Building Sets

DespicableMe.MegaBloksOn Tuesday, Mega Brands Inc. entered a multi-year international licensing partnership with Universal Partnerships & Licensing (UP&L) to develop a new kids construction line based on the Despicable Me franchise from Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment.

Due in stores this December, the Mega Bloks Despicable Me construction sets will offer fully buildable characters, locations, and vehicles inspired by Despicable Me 2. The line’s customizable construction sets will include mix-and-match features, such as interchangeable accessories. In addition, each set will feature buildable Minions that are unique to the set, for a variety of Minions to collect, build, and play with.

To launch the line, seven fans will participate in the #MinionMontage Challenge on social media. Fans can visit the Mega Bloks Facebook page to see highlights.

K’NEX Kicks Off Its Prepare for Titanfall Giveaway on Facebook

K'NEX.TitanK’NEX has launched a sweepstakes running on the K’NEX Facebook page, open to U.S. fans 13 years of age or older. Fans can log on to the K’NEX Facebook page through July 23 and enter the Prepare for Titanfall Giveaway daily for their chance to win one of ten Titanfall K’NEX Prize Packs. These include one Titanfall IMC Pilot Strike Building Set, one Titanfall Militia Pilot Attack Building Set, one Titanfall IMC Atlas Titan Building Set, one Titanfall Militia Ogre Titan Building Set, and one Titanfall Angel City Escape Building Set.

In addition, one grand prize winner will be awarded a Deluxe K’NEX Titanfall Prize Pack, which includes all the prizes from the basic prize pack, plus one Titanfall Ultimate Angel City Campaign Building Set. Winners will be chosen at random on July 24.

Participants can enter once per calendar day, and fans can earn bonus entries by sharing the promotion with Facebook friends. Official sweepstakes rules are available online.