Gund, Grumpy Cat Donate More than One Thousand Cans of Cat Food

GundDonateGund, in partnership with Grumpy Cat, has donated more than 1,000 cans of cat food to St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center. The company promised to donate one can of cat food to the nonprofit organization for every business card collected during North American International Toy Fair.

Throughout the event, approximately 500 visitors dropped off business cards. The Grumpy Cat team, during an in-booth live appearance by Grumpy Cat, offered to match Gund’s donation for the final total.

Toy Industry Association (TIA) Elects New Leadership at Annual General Meeting

TIAAt its annual general meeting held on Monday, the Toy Industry Association (TIA) announced the election of three new members to the TIA Board of Directors for two-year terms of office expiring in February of 2017. Nominated to serve their first terms on the TIA Board were Kerry Cunnion, senior vice president of sales at Tomy International; Howard Kahn, chairman of Madame Alexander and CEO of Kahn Lucas; and Bruce Raiffe, president of Gund. [Read more...]

Gund Creates New Line of Pusheen Products

Feb9.PusheenGund is bringing feline Internet sensation Pusheen to life in a new line of plush. The chubby gray tabby cat, known for her love of cuddles, snacks, and dress-up, was one of the seven original Facebook sticker sets. [Read more...]

Gund Adds to Its Core Line and Licensed Properties

GundLogoThis year, Gund is expanding several popular licensed product lines with new characters, costumes, and formats. Licenses include Sesame Street; Peter Rabbit; Boo, the World’s Cutest Dog; Grumpy Cat; Curious George; and Uglydoll. The expansions include backpack clips and sound toys for Peter Rabbit, and wearable scarves, hats, and earmuffs for Grumpy Cat. [Read more...]

Gund Expands Its BabyGund Line by More than 50 Items

My First Farmers Market Play Set

My First Farmers Market Play Set

Gund opens the year by adding more than 50 new products to its babyGund line, including a full range of plush, rattles, huggybuddies, and more based on its monkey character, Nicky Noodle, and its Bubbles the elephant. There will also be animal toys featuring hedgehogs, owls, and colorful dinosaurs, as well as new dolls with super-soft and distinctive rose-swirl fabric. [Read more...]

TIA Considers Three for Board of Directors

TIAThe Toy Industry Association (TIA) nominating committee has submitted candidates for consideration by the membership, for election to the association’s board of directors. Successful candidates would serve a two-year term expiring at the annual meeting in 2017.

The proposed board members are: Bruce S. Raiffe, president of Gund; Howard Kahn, CEO of Kahn Lucas; and Kerry Cunnion, senior vice president of sales of Tomy International. Additional nominations, made in writing and signed by no less than 10 percent of the TIA’s membership, may be submitted to TIA President Carter Keithley at ckeithley@toyassociation.org no later than January 16.

Raiffe, Kahn, and Cunnion would fill the seats of retiring board members Joel Berger of Cardinal Industries Inc.; Peter Henseler of Tomy International; and D. Hugo Malan of Sears Holdings Corp.

The election of new board members will occur during the TIA Annual Business Meeting that will convene at 8 a.m. on February 16, in conjunction with North American International Toy Fair at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. The meeting is open to all stakeholders of the toy industry—both members and non-members.

Gund Brings Pusheen Web Comic to Life with New Plush Line

PusheenPlushSIDEPusheen, the chubby tabby cat who originated as an animated web comic, has been brought to huggable, plush life thanks to a partnership with Gund.

The first Pusheen plush will be available in 6- and 12-inch sizes at heychickadee.com. An expanded general release, including additional plush formats and designs as well as hard goods, is planned for next year.

Macy’s Holiday Arcade to Offer Toys from Build-A-Bear, Madame Alexander, Gund, and More

MacysLogoMacy’s will be introducing the Holiday Arcade, in-store gifting shops offering customers an eclectic assortment of distinctive and playful options for their holiday shopping lists. These shops will launch at six Macy’s locations between late October and mid-November:

The Holiday Arcade at five locations including Macy’s South Coast Plaza, Macy’s Union Square, Macy’s State Street, Macy’s Herald Square, and Macy’s Center City will be home to exclusive Build-A-Bear Workshop shop-in-shops. Visitors will have the opportunity to customize Build-A-Bear stuffed animals, as well as licensed products such as figures from Disney’s Frozen and Marvel’s superheroes. [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: Happy National Teddy Bear Day!

by Christine Duhaime and Phil Guie

toothpickLife—or childhood, at least—would have been simply un-bear-able without teddy bears, am I right? What other toy so effectively soothes us when we’re unhappy, or makes for a truer companion on picnics, tea parties, and other adventures? And since this is an industry blog, we should also point out that teddy bears are a perennial seller among audiences of all ages: Toddlers may receive them for their first toys, but so do young adults as college graduation presents; and grown-ups as birthday gifts, Valentine’s Day tokens, and souvenirs. [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: Endangered Species Toys Can Help Raise Environmental Awareness

CuipoGund

Endangered species stuffed animals, from Gund and Cuipo

Animal-themed toys are nothing new, but in recent months, I’ve been noticing a focus on endangered species. Shortly after Toy Fair 2014, BeginAgain released its Balance Boat: Endangered Animal Edition, a stacking toy featuring rubberwood versions of the panda, rhinoceros, tortoise, and more. Meanwhile, Green Tones by Hohner put out Endangered Animal Shakers, beautifully carved rubberwood musical toys that depict an owl, leopard, and turtle.

And on the plush front, Wild Republic has added vulnerable species such as the Siberian Tiger to its Cuddlekins line. Last but not least, Gund and Cuipo have collaborated on stuffed animals based on the endangered sun bear, emperor monkey, and three-toed sloth, among others. [Read more...]