Cardinal Industries Turns 70

cardinalIn 1944, a young Les Berger, the founder of Cardinal Industries, started the company in Brooklyn. With his knowledge of plastics, Berger began manufacturing dominoes poker chip racks, hula hoops, and Mah Jongg sets.

Seventy years later, Cardinal has grown to become one of America’s top signature board game and puzzle companies offering more than 400 items including traditional games such as dominoes, checkers, and poker sets, as well as an extensive line of licensed games and lenticular, wood, and basic puzzles. With a worldwide reach Cardinal products can be found throughout North America, Europe, and Austraila. Cardinal has excelled in the licensed puzzle and game arena working with Disney, Marvel, Nickelodeon, Sanrio, Twentieth Century Fox, NBS, Warner Bros, Sesame Street, HIT Entertainment, Lucas, Mattel, and Hasbro, among others.

Season 2 of Mike The Knight Gets Greenlight from HIT Entertainment, Nelvana

HIT Entertainment and Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana have approved a second season of their preschool phenomenon, Mike the Knight.

MTK_GROUP_CastleThe second season, comprising 52 x 12-minute episodes, is in production and is set to begin delivery to broadcasters in late Spring. HIT Entertainment and Nelvana Studio will produce the series jointly. In the second season, viewers will be introduced to Mike’s father and role model, the King of Glendragon, who has been away exploring faraway lands.

Treehouse in Canada, CBeebies in the UK, and Nick Jr. in the U.S. have committed to air Season 2 of Mike the Knight starting in May in Canada, this summer in the UK, and later in the fall in the U.S.

Season 2 will also see additional product rollout. For more information, visit www.miketheknight.com.

Fisher-Price Debuts First Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway Line

Kids can explore the Gold Mine with Thomas and Salty, two of their favorite Thomas and Friends characters, with the Wooden Railway Gold Mine Mountain playset. This 34-piece playset features a Gold Mine Mountain, Cranky the Crane, Troublesome Truck, Salty, and a gold dust-decorated Thomas engine. Suitable for kids ages 3 and up.

HIT Entertainment and Fisher-Price have announced that Thomas & Friends embarks on a new adventure as Fisher-Price launches its new Thomas Wooden Railway line at toy retailers. The new product line marks a return to Fisher-Price’s heritage in wooden toys.

The Thomas Wooden Railway debuts with 108 SKUs launching in the U.S., UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, Japan, and Italy. Additional products will be released in the fall. [Read more...]

HIT Entertainment Announces Michael Carrington as New Head of Content, Production

HIT Entertainment, one of the world’s leading children’s entertainment producers and rights owners, has appointed Michael Carrington to the newly created position of head of content and production, HIT Global Brands.

Based in HIT’s London office, Carrington will be responsible for enhancing HIT’s center of excellence for content and development, reporting into Edward Catchpole. Marion Edwards will continue in her role as executive producer of HIT’s brands, reporting to Carrington.

Carrington joins HIT from Turner Broadcasting where he headed up the EMEA kids content team. Previously, he was controller of CBeebies and responsible for developing some of their most successful pre-school brands. A date has yet to be announced for his arrival.

HIT Entertainment, Discovery Bay Games Announce Thomas & Friends Steam Team Station App, Accessory for iPad

HIT Entertainment and Discovery Bay Games have announced a new game and accessory for iPad: Thomas & Friends Steam Team Station. This Thomas & Friends-branded Duo accessory is compatible with the new Thomas & Friends Steam Team Station Duo App, available now on the App Store.

Thomas & Friends Steam Team Station gets kids jumping, skipping, and racing with all of their engine friends. The app comes with three games: Steam Engine Relay, Sodor Spot-It, and Seek & Find Adventure. Six engine cards, including Thomas, Percy, and James, along with other engine favorites, interact with Steam Team Station.

Designed for children ages 3 and up, the Thomas & Friends Steam Team Station accessory is now available at Apple Stores and Apple.com, Amazon, Target, and Toys”R”Us. The Thomas & Friends Steam Team Station Duo App is available for free from the App Store.

HIT, Lionsgate to Release New Children’s Titles

Barney and his friends discover that the sky is not the limit when you use your imagination in the all-new release Barney: Let’s Go To The Moon, arriving on DVD, digital download, and on demand January 8 from Lionsgate Home Entertainment and HIT Entertainment.

The film, suggested for children ages 1 to 4, has a run time of 65 minutes. For more information, visit www.barney.com, or check out Barney on Facebook.

Also from Lionsgate and HIT, Angelina Ballerina: Dance Around the World is slated for release on January 8 as well. Angeling Ballerina is a mouseling who knows how to celebrate the great big world of dance in this new five-episode collection.

The film, suggested for children ages 2 to 6, has a run time of 61 minutes. For more information, visit www.angelinaballerina.com, or check out Angelina on Facebook.

Angelina Ballerina Dance Academy Comes to U.S. and Canada

HIT Entertainment has tapped AB Studio Licensing to license a nine-month Angelina Ballerina Dance Academy curriculum to dance studios across the U.S. and Canada.  The Angelina Ballerina Dance Academy will commence this fall.

The 34-week program is inspired by the CG-animated series airing on PBS and Sprout, Angelina Ballerina The Next Steps, and it will focus on one story book per month. Targeted at children ages 3 to 6 years old, the program teaches beginner ballet at two levels. The Angelina Ballerina Dance Academy curriculum was developed by dance education specialist Beverly Spell, master teacher and author of the Leap ‘N Learn program. Angelina Ballerina’s voice will guide aspiring dancers through their movement lessons, and the program incorporates music from Angelina Ballerina The Next Steps, and custom music developed by Spell and composer Scott Killian. Participating studios will also have access to Angelina Ballerina posters and signage, costume items such as tutus and mouse ears, and placement mats.

To date, more than 100 studios across North America have applied to become Angelina Ballerina Dance Academy partner studios. The program already exists in the UK and Ireland, as well as Australia and New Zealand. Angelina Ballerina Dance Academy partner studios will also be listed in the national directory of official studio partners linked from the Angelina Ballerina website.

To learn more about the program or to find participating studios,  visit www.angelinadanceclass.com.

This post was originally written by Ali Mierzejewski 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.

Hit Entertainment Signs Fisher-Price to Produce Mike the Knight Toys

HIT Entertainment, one of the leading providers of children’s entertainment, is finalizing plans with Fisher-Price, Inc., to market and manufacture a global master toy range for Mike the Knight, excluding the UK and Japan.

The toy line will be based on the CGI animated series, Mike the Knight, which transports kids to a world of castles, dragons, and trolls. Fisher-Price, maker of infant and preschool toys and Mattel’s largest brand, plans to develop, manufacture, and market a variety of toys and role play items for boys and girls ages 2 and up across the following categories: role play, playsets, plush , figures, and preschool toys.

The first items are scheduled to launch in the U.S. and Canada in next fall.  Fisher-Price and HIT plan to debut the Mike the Knight line at retailers in the rest of the world (excluding the UK and Japan) starting in 2014. Mike the Knight currently airs on major broadcast platforms in the U.S. (Nickelodeon and Nick Jr.), Canada (Treehouse), the UK (Cbeebies), Australia (ABC), and France (TF1), and is slated to launch in more than 20 more territories in the coming months.

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.

Hit Partners for Bob the Builder App

Hit Entertainment has partnered with BigPlay Studios, a developer of game, education, and book apps, for the launch of Bob the Builder: Muck’s Train to Trouble for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, available in Apple’s App store this week. This marks the first app release for the Bob the Builder brand.

Bob the Builder: Muck’s Train to Trouble is an interactive reading experience, which also features painting activities, video clips, and games. Every page includes narration, character voices, custom animations, and easy-to-read words with highlighted text.

With this first Bob the Builder app, Hit Entertainment adds to its iOS apps portfolio, which includes apps featuring Thomas & Friends, Angelina Ballerina, Fireman Sam, and Barney.

[Read more...]

Techno Source Named New Licensee for Barney

Hit Entertainment has appointed Techno Source, a division of LF Products, as a  toy licensee for Barney. Under the terms of the deal, the Barney toy range from Techno Source will include plush, play sets, and figurines, launching this spring in the U.S. and Canada.

Barney & Friends can be seen on PBS Kids and Sprout in the U.S., and on Treehouse TV in Canada. Episodes are also available for download through iTunes.

[Read more...]