Barbie to Leave Malibu and Search for a New Dreamhouse Location

Barbie is officially putting her Malibu, Calif. Dreamhouse on the market and is packing up her three-story pink palace, signaling the launch of a year-long global brand campaign by Mattel. Over the next few months, Barbie will embark on a worldwide tour to find a new dream home. This year’s campaign will feature real-life, life-sized experiences, online engagement, and retail touch points that bring the Barbie Dreamhouse to life for Barbie fans.

Fictitiously valued at $25 million (see the Trulia listing), her scaled 8,500 square foot, three-story, one-bedroom, one-bathroom mansion is the only house in Malibu with unobstructed views of the ocean—after all, it only has three walls.

Barbie will open the doors to her Dreamhouse with the “Barbie The Dreamhouse Experience,” which will debut in Florida in the U.S. and Berlin in March. Inspired by the popular web series, Barbie Life in the Dreamhouse, this interactive installation celebrates Barbie’s fabulous life, allowing fans a look inside her pink palace.

In addition, Mega Bloks and Barbie are transforming the way girls can build, design and decorate their Barbie world with the global launch of Mega Bloks Barbie, the first-ever Barbie building collection designed specifically for girls. The complete construction toy line—including a Dreamhouse-inspired Luxury Mansion—lets girls literally build Barbie doll’s world, piece by piece.

Mega Bloks Halo Toymation Contest is Back

Mega Bloks will soon launch their second edition of the Halo Toymation Fest, a community-driven competition in which Halo fans can create and submit their own Mega Bloks Halo toymations (stop motion animations featuring toys) for a chance to win prizes. Fans can visit the the official 2012 Mega Bloks Halo Toymation website to learn more about the different genres of videos they will be allowed to submit, discover the panel of judges and the prizes to be won, and receive details about the voting criteria and tips on stop motion animation.

The winner and runners-up will get the chance to win prizes that include video production hardware and software, a variety of Mega Bloks Collectors building sets, and one-of-a kind Mega Bloks Halo collector items. The panel of judges includes Jessica Shea a.k.a BS Angel; Jason Forthofer, co-owner and co-host of The Brick Show; Larry Hryb, the director of programming for Xbox Live; Jeremy Azevedo, head of original programming for Machinima; Tyler Gregory, winner of the 2011 Halo Toymation Fest; and Andrew Sparkes.

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New App Offers Enhanced Building Experiences for Preschoolers

Mega Brands Inc.,  recently launched their free mobile app Mega Bloks First Builders Let’s Build!, which encourages parents and children to build and play together with the Mega Bloks First Builders preschool construction system.

This app features block-by-block animated instructions for a selection of more than 20 block models, including colorful animals, boats, vehicles, and more. With visuals and sound effects, Let’s Build! encourages learning through building and promotes the development of fine motor skills in children ages 1 and up. Parents will be able to share their creations with their family and friends through the app via email, Facebook, and Twitter.

The app is now available in 5 languages—English, French, Spanish, Italian, and German—and is free to download for iPhones, iPod Touch, and iPads.

This post was originally written by Sierra McCleary-Harris and published by For more news, visit, 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.

Toymaker Provides New Hope for Young Cancer Patients

A 3-year, $1 million fundraising campaign was announced on June 14 at the 18th annual McGill Head & Neck Fundraising gala, honoring the Founder and Chairman of Mega Brands, Victor J. Bertrand Sr.

The funds will support head and neck surgery at the Montreal Children’s Hospital and for research lab focusing on hearing loss in children caused by cancer treatment.

The campaign was unveiled with the presentation of the Mega Bloks Wellness Wall For Kids. The wall will be built out of Mega Bloks blocks, each one representing a donation by supporters from the Montreal community, and will be installed at the new Montreal’s Children Hospital on the Glen site. More information on the Mega Bloks Wellness Wall for Kids, as well as directions on how to make a donation, will become available in mid-September.

This post was originally written by Sierra McCleary-Harris and published by For more news, visit, 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.

Mega Bloks Launches New Website

Mega Bloks launched the new Mega Bloks website. The main objective of the new site is to provide a modern, user-friendly online experience as well as a refreshed style that reinforces the Mega Bloks identity. The home page focuses on new content at multiple levels: a gallery of featured products from the shop; direct access to popular brand websites; more visibility for social media; featured videos; and blog posts.

Shopping is improved through catalog features such as search and filter tools. Consumers can also leave reviews, rate products, and create accounts that allow them to keep track of “Haves” and “Wants.” There are also new “Kids Zone,” “Video,” and “About Us” pages.

In addition, the new Mega Bloks World of Warcraft website and  Mega Bloks Skylanders teaser page are now live.

This post was originally written by Ali Mierzejewski and published by For more news, visit, 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.

Mega Bloks Launches Tour for Halo Vehicle

Mega Bloks has launched a North American tour for the Mega Bloks Halo Vehicle, inspired by Halo’s Warthog. The vehicle will be traveling across Canada and the U.S., making appearances at toy shows, convention centers, retail stores, and more. The vehicle’s first stop was at the Javits Convention Center in New York City during American International Toy Fair.

First Mega Bloks App Now Available for the iPad and iPhone

In celebration of Mega Bloks’ 25th anniversary, Mega Brands is releasing its first iPhone and iPad application for preschoolers, Mega Bloks Playground. Michael Elman, partner and creative of Budge Studios, the developer and publisher of the App, describes it as “not a ‘video game’ by any means that gives you set goals and sets you up to ‘win’ or ‘lose’.”

Instead, Mega Bloks Playground is open-ended and boasts unlimited play. In the preschool interactive world there are two playable Mega Bloks buddies, a boy and a girl, who interact with in-world elements, such as swings, sets, slides, see-saws, animals, and more. Kids can drag or tap the buddies with a finger on the iPad or iPhone screen and watch them play in the playground.

The App also features piles of colorful Mega Bloks throughout the playground that kids can use to build a variety of Mega Bloks creations. The touch-play controls are specially designed to help develop fine motor skills in children ages 2 to 5.

Mega Bloks Playground is available, starting today, for the iPad ($3.99) and iPhone ($1.99), exclusively through the Apple App Store in the Game-kids section. For the first 48 hours after launch, the App will be sold for 50 percent off.

Sanrio Partners with MEGA for Construction Toys

Sanrio, Inc. and MEGA Brands, Inc. have entered into a North American licensing agreement to develop construction toys for young girls based on the Hello Kitty brand. Under the two-year agreement, MEGA Brands obtains the rights to develop construction toy sets based on the Hello Kitty brand, which will allow young girls to build, personalize, and collect their very own Hello Kitty world. The Mega Bloks-licensed product offerings will make their debut in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico in spring 2011.

HIT Entertainment Celebrates 65 Years of Thomas & Friends

HIT Entertainment is celebrating the 65th anniversary of its preschool brand Thomas & Friends with partnerships with Minor League Baseball, Celebration Foods, Six Flags Entertainment, and Sprout.

Celebration Foods, the makers of Carvel ice cream cake, has been named the presenting sponsor of Thomas’ 65th anniversary. The company will serve as the exclusive Thomas partner for Thomas & Friends title nights, to take place at 22 Minor League Baseball teams’ games between May 15 and June 30. Celebration Foods will offer free Carvel ice cream cake samples and coupons to fans at the games, and will run free consumer offers at select regional grocery stores.

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Iron Man 2 Takes Over Toy Fair

At Toy Fair, Marvel Entertainment, LLC debuted a slew of partners and product lines based on the company’s upcoming flick, Iron Man 2, and franchise, Marvel’s Super Hero Squad.

Hasbro, the master toy licensee for Super Hero Squad and Iron Man 2 (in theaters May 7), is introducing a wide range of toy and game products, including  action figures, roleplay, preschool toys, board games, and puzzles. At the four-day event, Hasbro debuted the new Iron Man Helmet, featuring directives from Jarvis, and a “slow release” visor, and the R/C Walking Iron Man (above), a toy that allows kids to send the character walking forward across the floor and fire projectiles from his hand and shoulder rockets.

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