China Toy Fair


TIF to Auction Off a Tour of Sesame Street and More

tif_logoThe Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) is launching an online fundraising auction to benefit TIF programs and grants, which help children in need around the world.

TIF partnered with global charity auction site, Charitybuzz, to host the auction—which includes a visit to the set of Sesame Street in New York, tickets to Nickelodeon’s 2015 Kids’ Choice Awards in Los Angeles, and private meetings with top toy executives.

Bids may be placed through September 30 at charitybuzz.com/tif.

Hasbro, Disney, and 3DPlusMe Team Up for Super Awesome Me

SuperAwesomeMeHasbro Inc. and 3DPlusMe are introducing Super Awesome Me, a personalized 3-D printing experience that allows kids (and those who are kids at heart) to become Captain America or Iron Man. The initiative provides fans with a customized, 12-inch action figure through an in-store experience. In conjunction with Disney Consumer Products’ Marvel Super Hero September celebration, the Super Awesome Me experience will launch at ten Wal-Mart and two Sam’s Club locations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston between September 19 and 28.

Fans visit an in-store scanning station, where a 3-D face scanner captures their likeness to create a 3-D model. Each Super Awesome Me figure, recommended for fans ages 4 years and up, features a traditional articulated plastic action figure body and full-color 3-D printed head. Figures are available for pick-up at Wal-Mart locations or shipped to Sam’s Club customers in four weeks.

More information on the Super Awesome Me experience, as well as a full list of participating Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club locations, is available at superawesomeme.com.

Sega Reveals Details about Sonic Boom Video Games

SonicWiiUconceptartSega will debut Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric, developed by Big Red Button for the Wii U, and Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal, developed by Sanzaru Games for the Nintendo 3DS, at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles. The games will introduce new gameplay and the vilest villain in Sonic history: Lyric.

In both games, Sonic and his friends will work together to face Lyric, a giant snake-like creature from an ancient race. Gameplay will strongly focus on collaboration, making each of the team members’ roles elevated to capitalize each character’s unique talents and abilities. Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy, and Sticks will need to band together as a team to prevent Lyric from powering his army of robots and carrying out his plan to destroy the world.

Both games were created to take full advantage of the gameplay mechanics of their respective consoles. Sonic Boom: Rise of the Lyric will be the first Wii U game to incorporate Cryengine, a 3-D game technology from Cyrtek, and will exhibit visually enhanced lush environments and landscapes within the game. [Read more...]

Peaceable Kingdom Donates 6,000 Sticker Packs to Foster Care Kids

PeaceableKingdomThis past Friday, Peaceable Kingdom donated 6,000 scratch and sniff sticker packs to the Toy Industry Foundation‘s Play Your Part event, put on in partnership with CASA for Children. The event took place in Los Angeles, where 6,000 children waiting to be placed in permanent homes received care packages with toys, as well as notes of encouragement.

The Play Your Part event uses donations from throughout the toy industry to create the care packages. Peaceable Kingdom donated two scratch & sniff sticker styles: Peanut Butter and Chocolate.

Boon Hosts Social Media-Based Contest in Four Cities

Boon [CMYK]Got plans this weekend? This past April 1, it appeared that toddlers had taken over Boon’s social media pages, and while that turned out to be an April Fool’s joke, many of the random photos posted by Boon are part of a larger social media game. Indeed, photos found at Boon’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest pages contain “clues” about specialty retailers in the Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles areas.

Details on how to decipher these clues have been posted in videos on Boon’s blog. Through Sunday, any fans in those cities who figure out the clues—and subsequently check-in at the specialty retailer in their city on Foursquare—will receive a discount code for 20 percent off Boon products.

Safe Kids Day 2014 Planned for Los Angeles, New York City

tia_logo[1]The Toy Industry Association (TIA) will sponsor Safe Kids Day 2014, hosted by Safe Kids Worldwide. The events for the nationwide initiative will take place on April 5th in Los Angeles and April 12th in New York City. The TIA will provide attendees with free tips, tools, and guidelines for choosing age-appropriate products to play with that will keep kids safe while they play. 

The bicoastal events will feature games, activities, guest appearances, and an opportunity for families to learn how to stay safe from preventable injuries.

Saban Brands’ Power Rangers Celebrate 20 Rangers for 20 Years

PowerRangers.20Rangersfor20YearsA pop-up art exhibit will open this weekend to celebrate Saban BrandsPower Rangers’ 20th anniversary. The exhibition, 20 Rangers for 20 Years, was curated by Sweet Streets and will appear at the Toy Art Gallery in Los Angeles on December 7 to 8.

Artists and designers from around the world created the painted, 31-inch Ranger statues that were provided by Saban’s partner, Jakks Pacific. Each customized Ranger statue will be available for purchase on-site or online at shop.toyartgallery.com during the event.

Music by Iheartcomix DJs Franki Chan and $u$pect will be featured, and a percentage of artwork proceeds will benefit the Challengers Boys & Girls Club. Jakks Pacific will also make a donation to the Challengers Boys & Girls Club as well. Bandai America Inc., Power Rangers’ master toy partner, will provide Super Megaforce toys.

The gallery will also host a Power Rangers pop-up shop that will feature products for purchase from Mishka, Buckle Down, Acme Archives, and more.

Mattel Co-Sponsors Children’s Institute Inc.’s Back-to-School Giveaway

Mattel and nearly 20 other sponsors provided support for the second Watts Back-to-School Giveaway, which furnished much-needed educational resources for children pre-school age to 12th grade. The event was hosted by Philanthropic Society Los Angeles, a support group of Children’s Institute Inc. (CII).
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The Watts Back-to-School Giveaway benefited approximately 4,000 to 5,000 children and their families who live in one of Los Angeles’ most challenged communities. They receive services from CII—a nationally recognized organization that helps children and youth severely affected by community and family violence.

In addition to receiving filled backpacks, attendees learned about good nutrition and healthy cooking through demos and snacks from the Watts Healthy Farmers Market. They also received useful community information from partners of the giveaway, which was not a public event.

Global Smurfs Day Events to Be Held Worldwide June 22

SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT GLOBAL SMURFS DAYColumbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation will once again coordinate events all over the world on June 22 as part of Global Smurfs Day, a worldwide event in anticipation of the release of The Smurfs 2, in theaters July 31. Global Smurfs Day celebrates the birthday of Peyo, the creator of the Smurfs, born June 25, 1928.

This will be the second celebration of Global Smurfs Day. In 2011, the round-the-world events included painting one of the famous White Towns of Andalusia blue and setting a new record for Largest Gathering of People Dressed as Smurfs within a 24-hour period. This year, the studio has lined up a program of events, highlighted by a worldwide Smurf Ambassadors initiative, in which more than 40 ambassadors from 28 countries will represent Smurfs fans from around the world with a special day of events celebrating Peyo’s creation. [Read more...]

Playmates to Move U.S. Offices

Playmates Toys is moving its U.S. offices to Los Angeles from Costa Mesa, CA. The company expects to be settled into its new home by April 1st.

This move is a part of the company’s restructuring plan that aims to reduce overhead of the U.S. organization. Playmates’ key brands include Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & iCarly, Michael Jackson, Hero:108, DreamWorks’ Shrek, and Rainbow Brite.