China Toy Fair


Funrise Rounding Out Global Program for Madballs

MadballsMadballs, the bouncing balls from the 1980s with grotesque faces, protruding eyeballs, and zany names, are back in a new line from Funrise Toys. AG Properties, the intellectual property and outbound licensing division of American Greetings Corporation, announced the news.

The Funrise Madballs line will include plush and feature plush sports balls and soft accessories, including baseball bats and basketball hoops based on the brand’s satirical and gutter humor. Products are scheduled to hit retail in the fall of next year.

“We are thrilled to partner with Funrise on this new line for Madballs,” said Lindsay Martinez, vice president of licensing and business development for AG Properties.  “The addition of this plush sports ball program gives the franchise a unique position in the toy aisle and allows for a new generation of kids to experience the Madballs brand.”

Funrise’s plush toys will extend the property’s consumer products program, which includes comics with Lion Forge. Madballs were first introduced by AmToy, a subsidiary of American Greetings, in 1986.

Funrise Toys and Hasbro Build Official Life-Size Tonka Truck

Tonka truckFunrise Toys and Hasbro bring even more toughness to the Tonka brand with the larger than life Tonka T-Rex. Standing at 12 feet high and weighing 10,000 pounds, this massive, fully lifted truck brings the original Tonka truck to life.

The monstrous vehicle will make appearances at various auto shows and marketing events across the U.S., and will also play an integral role in holiday toy drives, family events, parades, and off-road events. Stay updated on all of the upcoming events in your area by following Tonka on Facebook.

Galpin Auto Sports (GAS), Kelderman, Highway Products, Banks Power, Toyo Tires, American Force, Bushwacker, Fab-Fours, Warn, JL Audio, Kenwood, and Katzkin helped Funrise bring this Tonka truck to life.

COMMENTARY: Everything’s Comin’ Up Bubbles

This spring and summer, toy companies are incorporating a bit of bubbly fun into their lines. With prime weather for outdoor fun, we are seeing the usual sidewalk chalks, sports sets, family lawn games, water shooters, and, a favorite around this office, bubbles. As I sit at my desk as Funrise ToysGazillion Bubble Twister spins and fills the office with bubbles, I realize that these simple toys are a surefire way to bring springtime joy to any playtime.

FubblesFunrise’s Gazillion Bubbles toys aren’t the only ones we’re seeing this year. Little Kids Inc. Fubbles No Spill Bubble Guitar turns kids ages 3 and up into rock star’s with a little extra flair. As kids press the button to make musical sounds, another button releases a stream of bubbles from the guitar neck. [Read more...]

Voting Begins For 2011 Toy Industry Hall of Fame

The Toy Industry Association (TIA) is accepting votes for the 2011 Toy Industry Hall of Fame, to take place in conjunction with the Toy of the Year Awards during Toy Fair Week in New York City. Voting started yesterday and will run until August 27, with the winners awarded on February 12.

Living nominees include:
•Fashion Institute of Technology Toy Design Department Chair Judith Ellis
•Former Radica Games, Ltd. CEO Patrick Feely
•Funrise Toys, Ltd. Founder and CEO Arnie Rubin
•Director Steven Spielberg
•Hasbro, Inc., Chairman Alfred Verrecchia

Posthumous nominees include:
•Russ Berrie, Inc., Founder Russell Berrie
•Duncan Yo-Yo Founder Donald Duncan
•Briarpatch, Inc., Co-founder Martine Redman

[Read more...]