Hasbro Licensing Expo Line-Up Includes New My Little Pony Toys, Littlest Pet Shop App, and More

Hasbro Inc. showcased new products at this past week’s Licensing Expo in Las Vegas from its key brands, including My Little Pony, Littlest Pet Shop, Nerf, Play-Doh, and more. The highlights from some of the company’s major lines included the following:

My Little Pony

June19 Equestria girlsLast year, Hasbro launched My Little Pony Equestria Girls, and this year marks the arrival of colorful fashion dolls, play sets, and vehicles inspired by My Little Pony Equestria Girls Rainbow Rocks, the new animated film set to debut this fall.

Littlest Pet Shop

Hasbro has released customizable style sets, figurines, and over 140 new pets inspired by the Littlest Pet Shop animated series. With this summer’s Littlest Pet Shop Your World integrated play app, fans can bring their pets to life digitally–as well as accessorize them and the rooms of their pet shop–by scanning the code included on each regular scale pet in the line. With this app, fans can also play a variety of mini-games and activities. [Read more...]

Famed Designer Gayle Middleton Debuts New Line of Plush Baby Monsters

BitemaresToy creator Gayle Middleton, who helped re-design My Little Pony and Littlest Pet Shop for Hasbro, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund her latest designs. These include a Baby Undead Dragon and toe-nibbling little fur balls called Bitemares.

“After years of designing adorable pets for Hasbro, Disney and others, I started doodling these odd, ghostly white vampire babies drinking undead dragon bottled blood in 2006,” says Middleton. “Maybe I was suffering from, ‘Cute Overload,’ and this was my way of dealing with it. I wanted to create babies that were cute but mischievous, something surprisingly off-center and bizarre… Other breeds of creepy-yet-cute monster babies started appearing on my sketch pad, and after 3 years I had coined a name for them: Vamplets.” [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: Easter Is the Other Big Holiday

I don’t know about you, but in my family, Easter is the “other” big holiday. It gets as much attention as Christmas and Thanksgiving, complete with family from near and far, a feast, candy, and, of course, Easter baskets. My sister and I are both in our 20s, but who says grown-ups can’t still get excited to open their Easter baskets and see what goodies await? While Easter isn’t the time for lots of presents, our baskets usually contain some candy, a few small trinkets, and one bigger gift. This Sunday, when kids across the country open their Easter baskets, some may be lucky enough to receive any of the following fun spring toys.

airhogsskywinder

Spin Master Air Hogs Skywinder is an awesome choice for a kid’s “big” basket gift. Kids toss the R/C stunt rocket into the air and squeeze the trigger on the remote. The rocket flies, dives, hovers, and loops, and is lightweight enough that it can be used indoors. It flies high, though, so kids will enjoy it most outside—a perfect reason to go outdoors and celebrate spring! [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: Animation Has Long Been a Promotional Vehicle for Toys

BrandonEngel1by Brandon Engel

You’ve likely heard about the massive success of The Lego Movie, and maybe you were even one of the millions worldwide who have gone to see it. Despite its financial success, some have blasted the film for essentially being a glorified, expensive commercial for Legos. I don’t think that anyone can deny that The Lego Movie is obviously commercially motivated, but does that make it wrong? Is it all that different from children’s movies selling toys based on the film?

BrandonEngel2Last Christmas, the Frozen Castle Playset and matching Barbie dolls from the Disney film Frozen were at the top of many children’s lists for Santa. Every time a commercial appeared for the movie or the toy, they advertised each other. Is The Lego Movie any different just because the toy existed before the movie? Here is the bigger question: In an age where almost no image is spared licensing of some form, where does the line get drawn between entertainment and commercial? [Read more...]

Disguise Renews Multi-Year Agreement with Hasbro

Hasbro.OptimusPrimeDisguise Inc., the Halloween costume division of Jakks Pacific Inc., has renewed its licensing agreement with Hasbro to produce Halloween costumes and accessories based on top Hasbro brands. The new three-year agreement grants Disguise the rights to manufacture and distribute the Hasbro-branded items to all channels in the U.S. and Canada.

The agreement includes the rights to produce Halloween costumes based on the theatrical property Transformers: Age of Extinction, as well as classic Hasbro brands My Little Pony, Transformers, and Mr. Potato Head.

“Weird Al” Yankovic Guest Stars as Cheese Sandwich on My Little Pony

Jan20.MLPWeird Al” Yankovic will guest star as Cheese Sandwich and compete with Pinkie Pie for best party planning pony on the February 1 episode of My Little Pony Friendship is Magic. An excited Pinkie Pie plans the best party ever for Rainbow Dash, but Cheese Sandwich will plan another one that will make every pony forget about Pinkie Pie. With Pinkie Pie’s reputation challenged, she won’t go down without an ultimate goof-off showdown. The episode will air on February 1 10:30 a.m. ET/7:30 PT on the Hub Network.

 

Kidada Jones, Soho Fashions Release My Little Pony Hair Extension, Accessory Collection

mylittleponyKidada Jones and Soho Fashions have teamed up with Hasbro Inc. to launch a collection of My Little Pony hair extensions and accessories sold at Soho Fashions mall kiosks nationwide. Kidada Jones has created a line that captures the magic of the My Little Pony brand. The Kidada for My Little Pony collection features an array of My Little Pony single- and multi-colored hair extensions, cutie marks accented with crystals, iconic character hair charms, and more. Soho Fashions trained stylists are available at each kiosk to “Ponyfy” fans with any purchase of the My Little Pony hair accessories or extensions. Fans can accessorize to look like their favorite pony characters from the hit animated series, produced by Hasbro Studios, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and airing on the Hub Network.

Fans can visit www.mylittleponyparlor.com for kiosk locations.

Google’s Zeitgeist Releases Top 10 Trending Toy Searches for 2013

Google has released its annual Zeitgeist—a “spirit of the times”—which gives us a chance to remember the people, places and topics that got us talking, and ultimately searching, before a new year begins. The list of top toy searches features new toys such as Minions and Palace Pets, but also old favorites, such as Play-Doh. Here are the top 10 trending toy searches this year:

  1. Pokémon
  2. Play-Doh
  3. Digimon Fusion
  4. Minecraft Toys
  5. Minions
  6. Palace Pets
  7. Paw Patrol
  8. Pacific Rim Toys
  9. My Little Pony
  10. Disney Planes

The 2013 Zeitgeist site provides more than 1000 top-10 lists of popular and trending searches from 72 countries, making it the most comprehensive and global list to date.

Survey Shows Children Want Game Systems, iPads for Holidays

Non-traditional items are finding their way onto children’s wish lists this year, according to a National Retail Federation (NRF) survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics. For the first time, iPads are among the most popular gifts for both girls and boys, with slightly higher demand among the former.

Among the other results from NRF’s 2013 Top Toys survey: 44.3 percent of holiday consumers plan to buy toys as gifts this holiday season; children are still asking for timeless items such as Barbie and dolls (No. 1 and 2 among girls, respectively) or Lego and toy cars (No. 1 and 3 among boys, respectively). And the younger generation is clearly technologically savvy, asking this year for tablets/iPads, smartphones (girls’ No. 11), and game consoles like Xbox One (boys’ No. 5) and PlayStation 4 (girls’ No. 10, boys’ No. 6).

Other popular toys for girls include Monster High Dolls, Disney Princess, and American Girl. The hot new item for boys this year is Skylanders, a hugely popular interactive video game that allows kids to play with a toy action figure at the same time. [Read more...]

2013 National Toy Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

NationalToyHallofFameThe game of chess joins the rubber duck as honored toys in the National Toy Hall of Fame. The honorees were selected from a field of 12 finalists that included bubbles, Clue, Fisher-Price Little People, little green army men, Magic 8 Ball, My Little Pony, Nerf toys, Pac-Man, scooter, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

During the National Toy Hall of Fame induction ceremony held at The Strong in Rochester, N.Y., on November 7, cartoonist Leigh Rubin (Rubes) presented two original commemorative cartoons, which he created in honor of the newest toy hall honorees.