Q&A with Mattel: Social Media, 3-D Printing, and More

logo_Mattel logoThe Toy Book (TTB): In what new ways are you using social media to correspond directly with consumers?

Mattel: We engage with consumers across all brand and corporate social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, as well as retailer sites, like Wal-Mart and Kohl’s. At Mattel, we have a fully functioning reporting and engineering team dedicated to understanding what the consumer is saying and turning that data into actionable improvements for both our manufacturing and design process.

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Mega Bloks Joins Forces with Top Licenses Including Power Rangers, Terminator, and Star Trek

MEGA+Branks+logoMega Brands has entered new partnerships with top entertainment brands to expand its Mega Bloks construction portfolio. Mega Bloks will add new highly detailed sets and movie-inspired lines for fans of all ages. [Read more...]

General Mills Brings Back Cereal Box Prizes with Mega Bloks

MEGA BRANDS INC. - New app offers enhanced building experiencesGeneral Mills, in a partnership with Mega Bloks, is bringing back its free cereal box prizes. Customers can find customizable Mega Bloks cars in select General Mills brands of cereals, including Honey Nut Cheerios, Reese’s Puffs, Cocoa Puffs, Lucky Charms, Golden Grahams, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. The cars can be customized with the included Hello Kitty and Power Rangers sticker packs. Additionally, the cereal boxes can create a constructable cardboard jump pattern.

Mega Brands Partners with UP&L for Despicable Me Building Sets

DespicableMe.MegaBloksOn Tuesday, Mega Brands Inc. entered a multi-year international licensing partnership with Universal Partnerships & Licensing (UP&L) to develop a new kids construction line based on the Despicable Me franchise from Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment.

Due in stores this December, the Mega Bloks Despicable Me construction sets will offer fully buildable characters, locations, and vehicles inspired by Despicable Me 2. The line’s customizable construction sets will include mix-and-match features, such as interchangeable accessories. In addition, each set will feature buildable Minions that are unique to the set, for a variety of Minions to collect, build, and play with.

To launch the line, seven fans will participate in the #MinionMontage Challenge on social media. Fans can visit the Mega Bloks Facebook page to see highlights.

Toys “R” Us Celebrates Skylanders Trap Team’s Arrival with Special Events, Early Opening, and More

SkylandersTrapTeamLogoToys “R” Us is celebrating the debut of the latest Skylanders game, Skylanders Trap Team, with special events, an early opening, exclusive figures, and more.

On Saturday, October 4 and Sunday, October 5, the Toys “R” Us flagship store in New York City will host unique in-store Skylanders-themed experiences. Customers who visit Toys “R” Us Times Square from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on either day can be among the first to play the new game at dedicated kiosks throughout the store.

ToysRUsLogo copyThey can also receive complimentary giveaways while supplies last, as well as have the opportunity to be digitally teleported into a Skylanders Trap Team “Most Wanted” photo alongside some of the game’s villains, including Kaos and Chompy Mage.

When Skylanders Trap Team releases on October 5, all Toys “R” Us stores nationwide will open one hour earlier at 8 a.m., and select stores will open at midnight. A full list of stores opening at midnight can be found at toysrus.com/midnightskylanders. Meanwhile, the Skylanders villain Kaos will be taking over the Toys “R” Us Twitter channel (@Toysrus) on Saturday, October 4, from 11 to 11:50 p.m. to interact with fans and build anticipation for the midnight release. [Read more...]

License to Build: Familiar Properties Fill Up the Shelves of the Construction Aisle

This article was originally published in the July/August 2014 issue of The Toy Book. To read the entire digital issue, click here.

The construction play pattern has always allowed kids to create buildable worlds and adventures straight from their imaginations. But with a recent surge of licensed toys entering the category, kids are able to build more and more familiar worlds based on their favorite existing properties. According to The NPD Group, dollar sales of licensed building sets grew by 6 percent from 2011 to 2013. As the world becomes more multi-media driven, licensed properties are deeply integrated into kids’ daily lives. Established building toy companies, as well as those looking to get their feet wet in the category, are jumping on the bandwagon with characters and environments that are already a staple among kids—and even collectors. [Read more...]

Mega Brands Partners With Shriners Hospital for Children

mega brands logoMega Brands has partnered with Shriners Hospital for Children in Canada and pledged half a million dollars to the hospital’s Exceptional Care for Exceptional Kids campaign. In addition, Mega Brands recently launched a custom-made limited edition Mega Bloks First Builders Block Buddy fundraising toy, Loveable Lucas, at the June 6 International Shriners Day celebration event in Ottawa.

Mega Brands will also provide Mega Bloks toys and decorations for the new hospital’s Child Life playroom. The construction of the children’s hospital began last spring and will be complete next year.

Mega Brands, Mattel Donate Over $70,000 to Autism Speaks Canada

DonationMegaMega Brands Inc. has donated $72,000 to Autism Speaks Canada in support of Autism Awareness Month. The donation was presented at the 2014 Walk Now for Autism Speaks event in Montreal, which helps fund autism treatment, education, research, and advocacy throughout the country. Mega Brands was also the local presenting sponsor of the event.

The money was raised during April when Mega Brands pledged to donate one dollar for every Mega Bloks toy sold by Toys “R” Us Canada both in stores and online. This generated over $20,000 in proceeds. Philanthropic donors also contributed $29,000 to the pledge amount.

Mega Brands employees raised an additional $10,000 in donations through bake sales and auctions, an amount that was matched by Mattel.

COMMENTARY: Kids Can Safely Get Behind the Wheel with New Ride-Ons

It’s difficult to recall when I first began dreaming about getting my driver’s license. Sure, there was that one time I accidentally shifted my parents’ car into neutral and rolled it out of the driveway (sorry again, Mom), but even at a young age, I had a desire to drive.Barbie Jeep

The first ride-on I instantly became obsessed with was my friend’s Power Wheels Barbie Jeep, circa 1990-something. It was love at first sight and I just had to have it. It was battery-operated, so I could just push down the pedal and go. It even had a roomy passenger seat, which was perfect for driving around my younger brothers and sister–and I probably tried to get my cat in it with me, too. [Read more...]

Mega Brands Returns as Presenting Sponsor of Walk Now for Autism Speaks

Light it Up Blue was launched by Autism Speaks in 2010 in support of World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD), which takes place on April 2. Mega Bloks Lights It Up Blue in celebration of World Autism Awareness Day and encourages others to do the same in showing their support!

Light it Up Blue was launched by Autism Speaks in 2010 in support of World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD), which takes place on April 2. Mega Bloks Lights It Up Blue in celebration of World Autism Awareness Day and encourages others to do the same in showing their support!

Mega Brands Inc. has partnered with Autism Speaks Canada, Toys “R” Us Canada, and local autistic groups to launch three exciting initiatives in support of the cause. For the fourth consecutive year, Mega Bloks returns as the presenting sponsor of the 2014 Walk Now for Autism Speaks event, scheduled for May 25 at the McGill University Tomlinson Fieldhouse in Montreal.

Meanwhile, as a fundraising measure, Mega Bloks has joined forces with Toys “R” Us Canada, pledging to donate $1 of every Mega Bloks toy sold in-store and online in Canada throughout the month of April to Autism Speaks Canada. In addition, Mega Bloks has invited local autistic organizations to tour its Montreal headquarters every Friday during April to learn more about the therapeutic benefits of Mega Bloks toys.

More information about the Walk Now for Autism Speaks event can be found at the organization’s website.