Toy Industry Unveils Nominees for 2015 Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards

TOTY2015logoToday, the Toy Industry Association (TIA) announced the 83 finalists for the prestigious 2015 Toy of the Year Awards (TOTY). Between now and January 11, toy consumers of all ages can visit www.toyawards.org to vote for their favorite toys, games, and properties across 12 categories.

The 2015 finalists were selected from more than 600 nominees submitted for consideration by 159 companies. Sixty academics, journalists, toy trend experts, play therapists, toy inventors and designers, and toy retailers staffed the nomination committees that narrowed the field to the slate of finalists.

Votes from mass retailers, specialty toy retailers, media, TIA members, and consumers will be weighted and used to determine each of the 12 category winners. The winners—including the overall Toy of the Year and the People’s Choice awards—will be announced at the TOTY Awards ceremony held on February 13, 2015 as the kick-off to the 112th North American International Toy Fair. [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: New Toys Inspire Girls to Cross Stereotypical Boundaries

Some girls like to play with dolls, while others might enjoy more crafty activities. But some girls also want to take charge at an early age and are interested in subjects that are stereotypically dominated by men. Recently, there has been an emergence of toys that help young girls develop an early interest in areas such as business, math, and science, as toy companies follow the trend of encouraging young girls to follow their dreams to the career path of their choice.

Alexi.July24Fashion Angels will be launching a line of products this fall called It’s My Biz, designed to encourage tween girls to consider careers in business. Barbie launched Entrepreneur Barbie this year, drawing inspiration from female entrepreneurs who have started their own businesses, such as Rent the Runway, Girls Who Code, and Genuine Insights. Finally, Debbie Sterling, the creator of Goldieblox, created her product with the mindset of “disrupting the pink aisle” and building girls’ confidence in their spatial abilities to develop an early interest in math and science, areas usually dominated by men. [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: Back to Basics: Sketch, Doodle, Paint, and Play

TF14Logo-cityDatesAfter Toy Fair 2013, the words “and there’s an app!” were ringing in my ears for weeks. This year, however, appcessories seemed more like a taboo than anything else, with most companies shying away from toys with app-enhanced features or reliability. Honestly, it was less than disappointing. I think keeping screen time and toy time separate is perfectly acceptable, and apparently, what kids and toy buyers prefer.

This year will truly mark a return to traditional play patterns. Rainbow Loom, a simple bracelet-making kit for kids, was huge in 2013, eventually snagging four Toy of the Year (TOTY) awards, including the overall Toy of the Year. That said, Toy Fair 2014 brought tons of cool innovations in the activities category, with companies fighting to be the next big thing once the Rainbow Loom craze comes to an end. [Read more...]

Sanrio Expands Hello Kitty Brand

hello_kitty001Sanrio Inc. has inked multiple partnership deals to expand the Hello Kitty brand across toys, sporting goods, and infant accessories

Blip Toys will produce dolls, plush, novelty, and play sets, while Just Play and International Playthings will create plush and soft toys. Fashion Angels and Ohio Art focus on creativity with sketch portfolios, hair chox, tapefitti, Etch A Sketch, doodle sketch, and nano blocks. MMA International and Street Flyer are responsible for sporting goods such as tennis, volleyball, basketball, and soccer equipment, as well as active skates, skateboards, and pogosticks. Baby Trend will create infant gear such as car seats, strollers, play yards, and high chairs, while Aden and Anais provide blankets, bibs, hooded towels, and washcloth sets. Ginsey will create bath accessories.

The Hello Kitty brand will also expand to the digital and publishing category with LeapFrog  and Viz Media.

New Fashion Angels’ Project Runway Collection Hits Store Shelves

The new Fashion Angels’ Project Runway activity kit collection hits store shelves  nationwide just in time to fulfill holiday wish lists of aspiring tween designers everywhere.

The 2012 Project Runway collection includes some of the company’s most c omprehensive design kits ever offered to tweens. Every element of real-world fashion designing, from sketching and pattern-making to garment construction and accessory selection, is included in this year’s line of products. [Read more...]

Fashion Angels Opens Hong Kong and L.A. Showrooms

Fashion Angels Enterprises announced the opening of two new showrooms in Hong Kong and Los Angeles, for a total of five locations. The tween lifestyle product company decorated both showrooms with the latest products mirroring the showrooms in Dallas, Atlanta, and Milwaukee.

Fashion Angels Creates Haute Trend for Tweens

Fashion Angels Enterprises has created an affordable and exciting hair coloring kit for children ages 8 and up. The new Color Rox Hair Chox, which comes in five different colors, is a great alternative to permanent and messy hair dyes. Tweens can enjoy an easy application and removal of the product. The dye easily comes out by shampooing the hair.

The kit comes with purple, pink, blue, orange, and green Chox stems. It also comes with applicator grips, 24 beads, 24 rubber bands, and a bead threader for more decorative fun.  The color Chox are also sold separately.

Fashion Angels recently participated in The Big Toy Book Sweet Suite event in New York City, which more than 300 bloggers attended to see the latest toys.

This post was originally written by Cynthia Ghazali 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.

Fall Toy Preview: Sticker Books from Fashion Angels

StickerZine Volume 1: Love to Shop, by Fashion Angels Enterprises, is the first of the company’s new StickerZine book series. Girls complete the shopping scenes in the 16-page books by collecting stickers and placing them in the coordinating empty spots. Each StickerZine will come with one mystery pack of 28 stickers to get started, and there are seven additional mystery packs of stickers sold separately to complete the entire book. Additional volumes of StickerZines will be released throughout 2011.

For more Fall Toy Preview coverage, pick up The Toy Book‘s September/October issue!