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...]

For Saban Brands and Center for Childhood Creativity, It’s Inventing Time!

Julius JrSaban Brands is partnering with the Center for Childhood Creativity for its animated preschool series, Julius Jr. The Center for Childhood Creativity has been working closely with Saban Brands to produce a series of “Inventing Time” activities designed for parents and caregivers to use at home, and for teachers to use in a preschool setting.

The Julius Jr. discussion guides encourage kids to take everyday objects they find around the house and turn them into extraordinary things, such as bridges, musical instruments, shadow puppets, and more. The activities come with a list of open-ended questions for adults to ask children while they are working on the various projects, enabling original thought and problem solving.

These materials are available at the Center for Childhood Creativity’s website, as well as for pick-up at San Francisco’s Bay Area Discovery Museum.

Yomega and YoYoJam Team Up for Joint Product Line

YoYoJam_OdysseyYomega Corp. and YoYoJam Inc. have teamed up to develop and market a line of high-performance plastic yo-yos. The initial YoYoJam from Yomega collection will include three yo-yo models designed for yo-yoers interested in learning basic skills and tricks, as well as those moving towards advanced and competitive play.

Among the models to be offered is an updated version of YoYoJam’s Journey, which features an adjustable gap system so players can perform various string tricks, while the all-new Firestorm is a high performance plastic yo-yo with a bold look and solid feel. The most advanced yo-yo in the YoYoJam from Yomega line is the Odyssey, an update of the classic YoYoJam “Surge.”

The line will be produced in the U.S. by YoYoJam and distributed by Yomega, which will also be responsible for the packaging and marketing. Yomega will work closely with Team YoYoJam to promote them online and at retail locations. YoYoJam from Yomega is expected to be available at traditional and online toy and hobby retailers this summer.

Babies “R” Us Teams Up with The Bump

Babies “R” Us has partnered with TheBump.com, a pregnancy and parenting website that offers advice, ideas, resources, and support to first-time parents as they navigate pregnancy. Used by more than 18 million parents to date, the Babies “R” Us Registry will now be available to a new, expanded audience of moms-to-be, who can create and share their registry directly from TheBump.com via its Gift Registry Center. In addition, the registry search tool on TheBump.com allows friends and family to find Babies “R” Us registrants’ lists and buy them a gift.

The two brands will support the partnership with a comprehensive cross-promotional program, including digital advertising, signage, registry materials, and The Bump My Pregnancy Calendar mobile app and newsletters.

Wham-O Partners with The Wish Factory to Create New Merchandise Lines

Wham-O and The Wish Factory Inc. have entered into a strategic sales and marketing agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, The Wish Factory will manage marketing and sales worldwide for Wham-O classic brands Super Ball, Hula Hoop, Track Ball, Hacky Sack, Aqua Sports, Arctic Force, and Continuous Air Water Slides.

In addition to re-launching many of the Wham-O iconic brands, Wham-O and The Wish Factory will present an expanded line next fall. The new product lines will include Wham-O Extreme Sports, which will be introduced to retail trade in January, and Wham-O Swim.

Wham-O manufactures classic brands such as Frisbee discs, Hacky Sack, Slip ’N Slide water slides, and Hula Hoop toy hoops as well as outdoor brands like Morey, Boogie body boards, Snow Boogie sleds, and BZ Pro Boards.

Mattel and KaBOOM! Raise Awareness of the Importance of Active Play

mattel_logo_fullMattel has partnered with KaBOOM!, a national non-profit organization, to build understanding of the critical need for active play in the lives of all children. To launch this partnership, Mattel and the Mattel Children’s Foundation have provided $500,000 in financial support to create and promote a major study with kids about how they engage in play.

The goal of the partnership is to foster support around the cause of play, and ultimately, a world where kids have the time and engaging opportunities to play actively every day.

The partnership has produced a two-minute video, “I Believe in Play,” and a synthesis of play-related research titled Play Matters: Giving Kids the Childhood They Deserve. Both are available at kaboom.org/act. In the coming weeks and months, these products and others will be shared with parents, educators, play advocates, and additional stakeholders through a multi-channel communications and marketing campaign.

Anchor Bay Celebrates New Chuggington DVD and 30th Anniversary of My Gym

CHUGPATROL

To celebrate the August 20 release of Chug Patrol: Ready to Rescue, the newest Chuggington DVD from Anchor Bay Entertainment, and the 30th Anniversary of My Gym, participating My Gym locations will feature colorful Chuggington window clings displayed in each facility as well as counter cards with coupons for a discount on purchase of Chug Patrol: Ready to Rescue or any other Chuggington DVD.

In celebration of its 30th anniversary, My Gym hosted a nationwide contest in search of America’s “fittest family,” with Chuggington DVDs included among the prizes. In addition, My Gym prominently features the partnership with Chuggington on all social media websites and promotional items. Anchor Bay will highlight My Gym with full-panel inserts in the packaging of all Chug Patrol: Ready to Rescue DVDs.  The company also will provide exposure for My Gym on the Chuggington social media pages.my gym logo