Child’s Play Communications Hosts “Dinner’s On Us” Event

Child’s Play Communications has announced a dinner event planned to precede the annual BlogHer Convention held in New York City August 6-7. “Dinner’s On Us” will be held August 5 and is planned to be a more intimate gathering to allow 100 leading mom bloggers and 10 sponsors the opportunity to network. The event will also feature the first Bloganthropy awards, which will recognizes bloggers who have used social media to support good causes.

The dinner will be Child’s Play Communications’ fourth event for mom bloggers. Sponsors to date include Nickelodeon, Toyota, Cuisinart, Giddy Up, K’NEX, Baby Boom, Hershey’s/Kraft, Backyard Safari Outfitters/Zillionz, and The California Strawberry Commission. For additional information, visit http://www.childsplaypr.com/DinnersOnUs/.

K’Nex Partners with Nintendo for Mario Kart Construction Toys

K’NEX Brands and Nintendo have announced a new licensing partnership to create a line of building toys based on Nintendo’s Mario Kart Wii. The line will include character-based toys (Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, Princess Peach, and Bowser), as well as vehicles and obstacles from the game.

The building sets, designed for children ages 6 and up, will be available at all major retailers in 2011.

K’NEX Donates Portion of Holiday Sales to Philadelphia Children’s Hospital

On April 6, K’NEX donated more than $20,000 to The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), a donation that was the result of the company’s holiday fundraiser last year. During last November and December, K’NEX pledged to donate 10 percent of KNEX.com sales during those months to The Cancer Center at CHOP. The company also accepted additional donations through its website.

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has been ranked No. 1 for pediatric cancer care by U.S. News and World Report and is the nation’s largest provider of services for pediatric cancer patients. Donations are helping CHOP researchers find the best non-invasive treatments and, ultimately, cures for every type of childhood cancer.

CHOP develops new therapies to treat pediatric leukemia and other blood disorders, brain tumors, sarcomas, retinoblastoma, and neuroblastoma.

K’NEX Launches Contest for NASCAR Tickets

K’NEX will be featured as the primary sponsor on the No. 88 JR Motorsports Chevrolet during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Heluva Good! 200 race, held on May 15. To celebrate, K’NEX is partnering with Dover International Speedway and JR Motorsports for the “Guess the Number of Parts” contest.

The contest invites fans to guess the number of parts in a NASCAR No. 88 K’NEX Car replica, which measures five feet long and is currently on display at K’NEX headquarters. The 100 closest guesses will each win two tickets to the Heluva Good! 200 at Dover International Speedway to watch the actual No. 88 K’NEX Chevrolet compete in the 11th Nationwide Series event of the 2010 season.

The contest runs through May 2. To enter, click here.

Currently, the cars of Jeff Gordon (No. 24) and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (No. 88) are featured as K’NEX NASCAR building toys. Additional sets will be released this July.

Intertek to Provide Consulting Services for K’NEX

K’NEX has teamed up with Intertek, a global provider of quality and safety solutions, to implement a new quality management strategy over a period of 3 years. Intertek will provide consulting services in the areas of product development, safety testing, certification and compliance to enhance supply chain quality management at K’NEX. Intertek will help K’NEX to meet and exceed quality levels, assure product safety, speed up time-to-market, and support innovation in the future.

As an accredited third-party testing facility, Intertek will also assist K’NEX with applicable certifications such as ASTM F963, CPSIA, Proposition 65, and other regional safety requirements.

K’NEX Signs On to Produce “Roary” Building Sets

K’NEX Brands has signed a licensing deal with Chapman Entertainment and HIT Entertainment to manufacture and market a line of construction toys based on the Sprout series, Roary the Racing Car.

K’NEX will produce Roary building sets, including builable figures and buildable vehicles. The sets will be available at mass retailers in the U.S. and Canada in fall 2011.

Last month, Bandai America announced that it was named the U.S. master toy licensee for the brand, and will manufacture a full line of Roary toys, available exclusively at Toys “R” Us stores.

K’NEX Expands Lines, Collects for United Way

K’NEX is expanding many of its lines—including its Collect & Build Series and Kid K’NEX line—and adding new building sets.

The company will debut four new themed Multi-model set centers: Fire Rescue, Hi-Flyers, Revving Racers, and Pirate Adventure. The sets each feature 10 unique models except for the Pirates set, which features 20 different models. Hi-Flyers, Revving Racers, and Pirate Adventure will be available in September, while Fire Rescue will debut this month.

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