2014 National Toy Hall of Fame Finalists Revealed

American-girlThe 12 finalists for induction into The Strong’s National Toy Hall of Fame this year include American Girl dolls, My Little Pony, Rubik’s Cube, and more.

Here is the full list of finalists:

The Hall of Fame at The Strong museum in Rochester, N.Y., announced the finalists on Monday. A ceremony at The Strong on November 6 will reveal this year’s inductees.

Hasbro to Step Back from The Hub Children’s Network

Hasbro logoAs reported by The Wall Street Journal, Discovery Communications Inc. and Hasbro Inc. are ending their equal partnership in The Hub, a cable network that hoped to become a force in children’s television against Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel.

Under the terms being completed, Discovery would take a controlling interest in The Hub and reposition the channel as a family network aimed at parents as well as children. Hasbro will retain a large stake in the service and control six hours of daytime programming on the network, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Launched in 2010 with a $300 million investment from Hasbro for half of the network, The Hub was designed to be an outlet for some of Hasbro’s best-known toy brands, including G.I. Joe, Transformers, and My Little Pony.

The makeover could take place as early as the fourth quarter, with The Hub renamed Discovery Family.

SuperFanArt Launches, Lets Fans Be Creators Using Hasbro Brands

SuperFanArtHasbro Inc. and Shapeways are launching SuperFanArt, a web site that enables fans inspired by Hasbro brands to showcase their artwork and sell their 3-D printed designs on Shapeways, a 3-D printing marketplace and community. Through the site, the Hasbro fan base will have license to create new art and product offerings.

SuperFanArt will launch with the My Little Pony franchise, and additional Hasbro brands will be introduced in the coming months. At its launch, SuperFanArt will showcase work by several talented fan artists, and consumers can click through to each artist’s shop to place an order. Additional artists and 3-D printed products will be featured on the site in the future.

The artwork featured on SuperFanArt will also be on display at Comic-Con International: San Diego.

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.