China Toy Fair


Nickelodeon’s TV and Digital Channels to Go Dark for 11th Annual Worldwide Day of Play

Nickelodeon will empower kids to get active when its TV channels, websites, and app go off air and offline for its 11th Annual Worldwide Day of Play (WWDoP) on Saturday from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET. Nickelodeon, Nicktoons, Nick Jr., TeenNick, nick.com, nickjr.com, nicktoons.com, teennick.com, and the Nick App will all participate.

The network’s national pro-social partners—United States Tennis Association, NFL Play 60, the Boys and Girls Club of America, among others—will host several thousand local events across the country to help celebrate kids’ love of play. These events will be hosted by Nickelodeon’s national partners, including Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City, the Boys and Girls Club of America, the Girl Scouts of the USA, and more.

On September 20, Nickelodeon will air health and wellness-themed messaging beginning at 9 a.m. At 12 p.m., Nickelodeon will sign-off on air and online, signaling kids and families to get up and get moving. While the network is dark, a message encouraging viewers to go play will appear on a loop. [Read more...]

Dora and Friends: Into the City! Debuts in Primetime this August

DAF_Group_ShotDora and Friends: Into the City! will premiere in primetime on Monday, August 18, at 8:00 p.m. on Nickelodeon. The half-hour series will regularly air on weekdays during Nickelodeon’s preschool block. The original Dora the Explorer series will continue to air.

The new series takes place in the fictional city of Playa Verde, where Dora and her new friends will go on adventures. It features an interactive curriculum focusing on community service, problem solving, emotional skills, the Spanish language, and Latino culture. Throughout her journeys, Dora will use the Map App on her smartphone and a magical charm bracelet to navigate the city and overcome obstacles. Her new group of friends includes Kate, an avid reader who is dramatic and artistic; Naiya, a smart girl who excels at math and science; Emma, a driven and accomplished musician; Alana, an athletic soccer player and animal lover; and Pablo, a smart, playful, energetic athlete and explorer. [Read more...]

LeapFrog Appoints Steve Youngwood to Board of Directors

Steve Youngwood has joined the board of directors for LeapFrog Enterprises Inc. He most recently served as executive vice president and general manager of digital media and entertainment products at Nickelodeon.

Youngwood joined Viacom in 1997 and most recently led all Nickelodeon Digital efforts, including websites, mobile, connected TVs, TV Everywhere and other emerging platforms. He also led Nickelodeon’s video, gaming, and book publishing businesses across all digital and traditional retail channels, and oversaw the acquisition and integration of five digital companies. Youngwood has also held various senior management positions in Consumer Products, ran the Nick and NickJr magazines, and worked in the Strategy and Business Development Group.

COMMENTARY: Celebrating Canada Day—Toy Style!

In case you didn’t know, this past Tuesday was the national day of Canada! Here at The Toy Book, we’re lucky enough to work with tons of awesome Canadian toy companies, and to show both our support and Canada pride, here are some of our favorite toys from great Canadian toy manufacturers:

WowWee.MipWowWee

From WowWee, we always know to expect something innovative and hi-tech, such as last year’s 32-inch-long Roboraptor. In keeping up with the robo-trend, WowWee recently rolled out MiP, a unique, dual-wheel balancing interactive robot that utilizes GestureSense technology. With MiP, kids can control the robot through a Bluetooth link to any smart device using a free app. There are fun games to play with MiP, and kids can even make it dance to songs from their iTunes library. [Read more...]

MGA Introduces New Fashion Doll Line, Lalaloopsy Girls

LalaloopsyGirls.art1.lowresThe Lalaloopsy doll brand, from MGA Entertainment, will make its first foray into fashion dolls with Lalaloopsy Girls. The brand’s storyline centers on 10 characters who attend a special magic academy for girls, Lalaloopsy Academy for Learning Arts, aka L.A.L.A. Prep. There they take magic classes on topics such as cloud-sculpting, and share dorm rooms, secrets, and humorous life moments.

Lalaloopsy Girls will feature vibrantly-colored, 11-inch dolls with different fashions, and each doll will have lanyard hair that magically colors when streaked with cold water. In addition, each doll will come packaged with an extra outfit consisting of a personal, two-piece pajama fashion set, as well as two hair clips and a pet.

The original Lalaloopsy brand debuted four years ago with a suggested age range of 4 and up. According to Rachel Moshe, brand manager at MGA Entertainment, the new line is intended for the oldest girls in that age group.

“If you fell in love with the brand in 2010 and were four years old, that would now make you 8, so you’d probably be going into fashion dolls,” says Moshe. “So we thought it would be appropriate to launch a fashion doll line-up that keeps girls into the brand a little bit longer. This is really to add a doll line-up for the older girl–still not much older than the current Lalaloopsy consumer, but a little bit older than what we’d been targeting before.” [Read more...]

MGA Entertainment Inks Deal with Viacom for Lalaloopsy TV Series

June5-Lalaloopsy_dolls-300x157MGA Entertainment has signed a two-year agreement with Viacom to air the first two seasons of the Lalaloopsy television program internationally on its Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. networks, kicking off the second season on Nick Jr. on June 7 in the U.S. Based on MGA’s doll line, the 52 episodes will also air in Germany, Russia, Benelux, Greece, Turkey, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, South Africa and Pan Asia (Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan, Palau, Brunei, Macau, Mongolia, South Pacific Islands, Papua New Guinea, Cambodia, Myanmar, and U.S. military bases).

In addition, Viacom has granted Lalaloopsy Babies its own TV special, which will air on Nick Jr. and be available on DVD this October.

Julius Jr. Gets Second Season on Nick Jr., New Toy Line

Julius JrNick Jr. has picked up Julius Jr. for a second season in the U.S. The animated preschool series by Saban Brands, inspired by the character created by Paul Frank, debuted on the network last September.

Nick Jr. will premiere new episodes of Julius Jr. beginning this Saturday. The show’s themes will be brought to life with a new toy line from Fisher-Price Inc., the global master toy licensee for the brand, which will include play sets, plush assortments, and role-play items. The toys will arrive at Toys “R” Us starting in mid-June with a full rollout at key retailers this fall.

Nickelodeon to Launch Nick Jr. App

March17.NickJrAppThe same Nickelodeon digital team that created the Nick App has developed the new Nick Jr. App, which will launch this spring. The app is designed specifically for preschoolers and will feature educational activities, a high level of interactivity, short-form video and curriculum-based content, and full-length on-demand episodes and live streaming of Nick Jr. with authentication.

The Nick Jr. App includes the television series Dora the Explorer, Team Umizoomi, Bubble Guppies, PAW Patrol, Peter Rabbit, Wallykazam!, Go, Diego, Go!, Max & Ruby, The Fresh Beat Band, The Backyardigans, and Blues Clues.

The app will be available for the iPad at the App Store and will roll out on additional platforms in the coming months.

Saban Brands Teams Up with Random House on Julius Jr. Children’s Books

Julius JrSaban Brands has entered a global publishing deal with Random House Children’s Books for the preschool property Julius Jr. New products will include an interactive collection of books inspired by the TV series, which airs on Nick Jr. Random House has acquired worldwide English rights, and the books will be available starting this fall and published under the company’s Golden Books and Random House Books for Young Readers imprints.

“The Julius Jr. series will be a natural fit with young readers and we’re happy to share the fantastic adventures of Julius Jr. and his friends through visual storytelling,” said Elie Dekel, President of Saban Brands.

The fall collection will include a full range of color and activity books, leveled readers, storybooks, and novelty books for preschool-aged children.

Jazwares Signs On for Peppa Pig, Flick-To-Stick Bungees

peppa_pigJazwares Inc. has entered a pair of licensing partnerships, including one for the top-ranked program on Nick Jr. for kids ages 2 to 5.

Thanks to a deal with Entertainment One Licensing, the company will serve as the new master toy partner for Peppa Pig. Jazwares will produce products for preschoolers across multiple categories, including plush, plastic figures, dolls, play sets, role-play toys, musical and talking toys, toy vehicles, and bath toys. The first Peppa Pig toy collection is scheduled to launch in mass and specialty retailers nationwide in spring of next year.

Airing seven days a week on Nick Jr., Peppa Pig follows the adventures of Peppa, a loveable, exuberant little piggy who lives with her brother George, Mummy Pig, and Daddy Pig. Globally, the show airs in 180 countries around the world and is translated into 40 languages.

Jazwares is also launching Flick-To-Stick Bungees, a competitive strategy game featuring 96 collectible action figures. Players aim their Bungees at scoring targets and flick their fingers to compete, collect, and potentially win. The action figure line will be enhanced by a Bungee Battleground arena, disk launcher, playing cards, and scoring disks. Flick-To-Stick Bungees, originally created by Barcelona, Spain-based Magic Box Int., will debut this fall.