Bob the Builder is returning to PBS in November with CGI-animation, a brand new look for both the series and its title character, and Downton Abbey‘s Joanne Froggatt voicing one of the lead roles, Wendy. Ahead of the TV show, HIT Entertainment, a division of Mattel, is welcoming back Bob with a brand new Bob the Builder YouTube channel launching today.
by Catherine Mevs, strategy director, Red Peak Branding
With more and more Millennials stepping into parenthood, big name toymakers are trying to guess at the expectations of a new generation of parents. However, from Mattel’s introduction of its Siri-inspired Hello Barbie to Hasbro’s more compact preschool toys, thus far their efforts are either misguided or not going far enough.
Disney Consumer Products Introduces Disney∙Pixar Cars Diecast Line, High-End Collectibles, and Mobile App
Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media (DCPI) will release Cars Daredevil Garage, a new mobile app, as well as collectible Mattel diecast cars, which can be scanned into the app and used to perform extreme stunts in virtual environments.
An exclusive 30-minute YouTube documentary about Thomas the Tank Engine, Thomas & Friends: 70 Years of Friendship, has debuted in time for Thomas’ 70th anniversary year, on the Thomas & Friends YouTube channel. Mattel produced the documentary with Tongal, and teamed with the crowdsourcing studio to select Mindfruit as the project’s production company.
Registration for the Toy Industry Association’s (TIA) annual Fall Toy Preview has started out strong, with more than 200 buyers from global retail outlets already signed up to attend the preview show, to be held in Dallas on October 6 to 8. Representatives of global retailers and toy sellers—including buyers from GameStop, Toys “R” Us, and more—will be on-site to browse hundreds of brands with one or more lines slated for the fourth quarter of next year.
Toys “R” Us today revealed its lineup of exclusive figures and playthings, which will be available at Comic-Con International: San Diego next month. The retailer will provide convention goers with the opportunity to be among the first to purchase exclusive figures, figure packs, and play sets including Batman Classic TV Series Batgirl, from Mattel; G.I. Joe Desert Duel and My Little Pony Daring Do Dazzle, from Hasbro; and more.
D23 Expo to Offer Sneak Peek of Playmation Marvel’s Avengers, Miles from Tomorrowland Toys, and More
Disney Consumer Products will unveil unique product experiences and exclusive merchandise at this year’s D23 Expo, scheduled for the Anaheim Convention Center from August 14 to 16. This year’s expo will provide interactive opportunities and products featuring Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars.
This article first appeared in the May/June 2015 issue of The Toy Book.
Barnes & Noble is the largest retail bookseller in the U.S., with nearly 650 stores nationwide, as well as a thriving web presence. But in recent years, the bookstore chain has also been expanding its non-book offerings, balancing out shelves of New York Times bestsellers with educational toys, games, and collectibles.
by Reyne Rice, trend hunter, toy trend expert, industry analyst, and consultant
Smart tech for kids is no longer buzzword lingo. It has become a reality and has grown to encompass so much more than just technology added to toys to make them interesting or “tech-y.” Today, kids’ technology-enhanced products offer engaging and explorative play patterns that span a wide spectrum of categories. And while there are new technologies being used in these toys, the thrill is in the play experience, not in the technology itself. New technology enhances and extends play patterns way beyond how kids were playing in past decades. Plus, parents, older siblings, caregivers, and educators are all using new technology that companies are translating into toys and tech products for kids’ worldwide.