Fisher-Price Enters Global Collaboration with Shakira and The Barefoot Foundation for Best Possible Start Campaign

shakiraIn a global partnership centered on early childhood development, Fisher-Price Inc. has partnered with singer Shakira—who is also a mother and philanthropist—and the Barefoot Foundation to create a web series for moms and co-develop a new line of babygear and toys.

The program targets millennials, who make up 80 percent of today’s first-time moms. The collaboration, which is focused on sharing opinions and recommendations with other moms, kicks off today with a 12-part web series featuring Shakira’s personal reflections on what her baby has taught her about herself. Other topics include the importance of early childhood development, looking at the world through a child’s eyes, facilitating milestones, and her hopes for raising a future philanthropist.

Segments also celebrate babies’ activity and growth, as well as Shakira’s own parenting journey from a very personal mom-to-mom point of view. The series will be distributed exclusively over digital to 23 countries at one time, delivered via branded social channels and supported with paid media. The content will live within a microsite, which will contain product information on her First Steps Collection, the new Babygear, and infant line of toys Fisher-Price co-developed with Shakira.

Fisher-Price Shakira First Steps Collection Kick & Play Piano Gym

Available in the U.S. exclusively at amazon.com as well as fisher-price.com, Shakira’s introductory spring line of co-developed Fisher-Price baby gear and toys will include the following: [Read more...]

Lego and Shell to Part Ways After Decades-Long Partnership

Lego.ShellOn Thursday morning, The Wall Street Journal reported that Lego is ending its co-branding relationship with Royal Dutch Shell. The move follows pressure from environmental group Greenpeace, which targeted the decades-long partnership in an online video and petition.

Since the 1960s, Lego has built play sets branded with the Shell logo, including Shell filling stations, tanker trucks, and Shell-sponsored racing cars. These have been sold at Shell gas stations and other retailers that carried Lego sets.

In July, Greenpeace circulated an online petition calling for Lego to sever ties with Shell, which it has accused of operating recklessly in exploring for oil in the Arctic. The group released an online video, Lego: Everything Is Not Awesome, which depicts an Arctic wonderland made of Lego bricks that is flooded with spilled oil, and asks viewers to sign the petition urging Lego to sever ties with Shell. According to Greenpeace, the video has garnered more than a million signatures to date. [Read more...]

TIA and JPMA Enter Information-sharing Partnership

tia_logo[1]The Toy Industry Association (TIA) and the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) have entered into an information-sharing partnership to better provide safety and product information to their respective customer pools.

jpma_newestlogoAs of September 7, the organizations are working together to “provide trusted and timely information on a wider variety of topics to families with kids of all ages,” according to Joan Lawrence, TIA vice president of standards and regulatory affairs.

Mattel and Boys & Girls Clubs of America Partner Up to Share the Play

logo_Mattel logoMattel and Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) have entered into a toy and game donation program to provide children with greater access to play. Called Share the Play, for every online order placed by consumers at Mattel’s online toy stores, Mattel will donate a toy to BGCA. Through the program, up to 250,000 toys will be distributed to BGCA’s nationwide network of 4,100 Clubs.

From now through December 31, every qualifying order made online at mattelshop.com and fisher-pricestore.com will result in a toy donation to BGCA. Mattel will donate a minimum of 200,000 toys to BGCA through the program, with a goal of 250,000 toy donations to the organization.

The donation program builds on a successful multi-year partnership between Mattel and BGCA.

Toys “R” Us and Hull FC to Partner on Match Day and Support Programs

A new partnership launched between Toys “R” Us and Hull Football Club (Hull FC) will see the latter’s family area of the team stadium’s West Stand become known as the Toys “R” Us Family Area, with toy giveaways at every game from both Toys “R” Us’ and Hull FC’s mascots.

Toys “R” Us will also officially partner with the club’s grassroots engagement program, known as Fanbassadors, with special offers for young fans at schools and junior clubs, as well as discount vouchers and toys for Hull FC season pass holders. In addition, Toys “R” Us will become included in the club’s official playing and replica shirts.

The partnership will also see community links forged by the Toys “R” Us store at Kingston Retail Park in Hull, including visits from the players and mascots, as well as support for on-going community and charity work.

Reeves International to Distribute Basic Concepts’ New Summer Lines

ReevesInternationalReeves International has partnered with Basic Concepts to distribute three new collections of water blasters, air gliders, and themed activity kits in the U.S. this summer. These items will be available in both the mass and specialty markets.

The Aero Force line includes the Aero Force Glider, which has precision wing design and technological components designed by an aerospace engineer to maximize flight time. Meanwhile, pre-pressurized water cartridges for Hydro Force blasters never lose water pressure, letting kids back into their games faster.

Basic Concepts’ In a Minute blind bags guide kids through the art of quick magic tricks, science kits, building kits, and gags.

Canadian Toy Association and Toy Industry Association Enter Affiliation Agreement

The boards of directors of the Canadian Toy Association (CTA), along with the U.S.-based Toy Industry Association (TIA), have approved a formal relationship. Under the terms of the initial three-year agreement, CTA will become an affiliate of TIA beginning July 1, and any TIA member with operations or sales in Canada will be eligible for CTA membership at no additional charge. In addition, CTA members, including distributors, will become eligible for membership in TIA.

Financial support provided by TIA will support CTA’s advocacy activities and operational programs, such as the promotion of toy sales in the Canadian market. CTA will no longer organize or host any trade fair or toy marketplace event.

A representative of each organization will sit on the leadership committee of the other body. CTA will maintain its Canadian incorporation, and its own mission, and its own bylaws. The agreement was approved by the TIA board of directors at its meeting on May 7, and by the CTA board of directors at its meeting on May 8.

Cuipo and Gund Join Forces to Save Endangered Rainforests

CuipoGundThe lifestyle brand Cuipo is teaming up with Gund for a new line of stuffed animals. For every stuffed animal sold, one square meter of endangered rainforest is saved. The partnership between Cuipo and Gund is intended to show kids how they can help care for the Earth.

The line includes Sly, a squirrel monkey; Sampson & CoCo, a sun bear and coconut, respectively; Cezar the emperor monkey; Steve, a three-toed sloth; and Tiko the toucan.

Toys “R” Us Shows Support for Autism Awareness Month

toysrusAs part of its ongoing support of the special needs community and to commemorate Autism Awareness Month, the Toys “R” Us Children’s Fund has provided a $600,000 grant to Autism Speaks, a leading autism science and advocacy organization. The grant will support the charity’s research and advocacy efforts in the U.S. as it strives to provide resources for families affected by autism spectrum disorders.

Toys “R” Us will serve as the national sponsor of the organization’s Walk Now for Autism Speaks program, a year-long series of more than 100 walk events taking place in communities across North America that allows supporters to personally raise funds for Autism Speaks. In addition, Toys “R” Us and the Toys “R” Us Children’s Fund have collaborated with Autism Speaks and the not-for-profit National Lekotek Center to identify toys that can help kids with autism develop language, creativity, and social skills while playing with siblings and friends.

The list of Ten Toys That Speak to Autism is a special subset of the company’s Toys “R” Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids, and can be found in stores nationwide and online at Toysrus.com/DifferentlyAbled.

Since 2007, Toys “R” Us Inc., the Toys “R” Us Children’s Fund, and customer contributions together have provided Autism Speaks with nearly $19 million.

Duncan Toys Teams with Disney for International Yo-Yo Competition

Duncan85yrslogoDuncan Toys Company, which celebrates its 85th anniversary this year, recently established a strategic alliance with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. Duncan retail outlets at Downtown Disney on the east and west coast feature experienced demonstrators interacting with Disney guests while performing their expert skill toy play. [Read more...]