China Toy Fair


Peaceable Kingdom Donates 6,000 Sticker Packs to Foster Care Kids

PeaceableKingdomThis past Friday, Peaceable Kingdom donated 6,000 scratch and sniff sticker packs to the Toy Industry Foundation‘s Play Your Part event, put on in partnership with CASA for Children. The event took place in Los Angeles, where 6,000 children waiting to be placed in permanent homes received care packages with toys, as well as notes of encouragement.

The Play Your Part event uses donations from throughout the toy industry to create the care packages. Peaceable Kingdom donated two scratch & sniff sticker styles: Peanut Butter and Chocolate.

COMMENTARY: These Valentine’s Day Toys and Activities Have Lots of Heart!

Valentine’s Day is coming up, and many people will give roses, chocolates, and jewelry to the objects of their affections. But lest we forget, toys and games also make fine presents. Looking around the toy industry, it’s clear that a number of companies were aware of potential opportunities, and responded with cool Valentine’s Day-themed products. But I also found some items that, even if they weren’t packaged specifically for the hearts-and-flowers holiday, are still perfect for the occasion. Here’s a brief rundown, though as usual, this is by no means an exhaustive list:

Phil.Feb7Plush dolls, from Aurora World Inc.: These dolls come in all shapes and sizes, and several of them sport that most familiar of Valentine’s Day icons: the heart. For example, Pink Promise, a soft, two-toned elephant, has heart prints all around the insides of its huge ears. There’s also Sad Sam & Honey, a pair of adorably sad-looking basset hounds, each bearing a heart with an “I Love You” message. Aurora World also has YooHoo & Friends, a trio of pastel-colored chimpanzees that not only present Valentine’s Day messages such as “Be Mine!” and “XOXO!,” but squeak when squeezed.

While the dolls I just mentioned are tailor-made for February 14, even if you take away the pink dye and hearts, these are still terrific plush animals. Both Sad Sam & Honey and YooHoo & Friends have big eyes and emotive facial expressions, which make them easy to empathize with and feel affection toward. Pink Promise, on the other hand, benefits from sheer generousness of proportions: It comes in four sizes, one as large as 22 inches from trunk to end. As such, this elephant is a potential pillar of emotional strength, and isn’t that what we all want for Valentine’s Day? Aurora World plush is suitable for all ages. [Read more...]

Pillow Pets, Peaceable Kingdom Each Donate More Than $1 Million in Toys to TIF

The Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) applauds the generosity of Pillow Pets and Peaceable Kingdom for their recent large scale toy donations. More than $1 million in Peaceable Kingdom sticker sets and $1.7 million in Pillow Pets were donated by the manufacturers during TIF’s Toys Across America campaign.

In celebration of the 10th anniversary of The Toy Bank, the Foundation teamed up with partner Kids in Distressed Situations (K.I.D.S.) to host Toys Across America, the first toy distribution to bring playthings to children in all 50 states within a single day. The donated Pillow Pets went to kids in 25 states; Peaceable Kingdom’s sticker sets were donated to children’s charities in four states. A total of 36 generous toy companies participated in the initiative, which brought toys to more than half a million children in need.

 

Peaceable Kingdom Donates Stickers to Children in Need

stickersPeaceable Kingdom donated more than $54,000 in scratch and sniff stickers to the Christian Appalachian Project’s youth programs this month. Working through Good360, an organization that helps match companies with non-profits in need of donations, Peaceable Kingdom’s stickers will go to programs supporting the low-income youth of the Appalachian area.

The Christian Appalachian Project is an interdenominational, non-profit Christian organization that serves people in need in Appalachia by providing physical, spiritual, and emotional support through a variety of programs and services. Its youth programs include child and family development centers, family restoration shelters, summer camps, school readiness programs, educational support services, and in-school education.

Peaceable Kingdom regularly donates products to non-profit organizations, and this marks its largest donation this year.

Chicago Toy & Game Group Expands Events in the U.S. and Abroad

The Chicago Toy & Game Group (ChiTAG) expanded its toy industry networking events to cities around the U.S., Canada, and the UK.

ChiTAG Networking Events were recently held in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Toronto with upcoming events planned for London on June 5, Chicago on June 11, and Nashville on June 18 during ASTRA Marketplace & Academy, as well as events slated for New York, Seattle, Boston, Indianapolis, Sarasota, Montreal, and more.

ChiTAG advocates toy and game inventors, and its Networking Events are one of the many ways the organization carries out its mission to bring the industry together to share information, foster collaborative opportunities, and promote the power of play and the toy industry as a whole.

Events attract professionals from all areas of the business including manufacturers, inventors, designers, sales reps, independent consultants, and more, who come together to share experiences and develop new business relationships.

Past and future events are co-sponsored and held in collaboration with companies including Spin Master, Mind Candy, ThinkFun, Mayfair Games, PlaSmart, Bananagrams, Endless Games, RoosterFin, DesignEdge, Patch Products, Educational Insights, Top Trumps, Joyce Johnson Designs, Peaceable Kingdom, Jukem Football, Dynamic Designworks/DDW Inc., OtherdoorEntertainment, Snakes & Lattes, and toy/game retailers across the country.

Admission to ChiTAG Networking Events is free, and RSVP’s are required. For more information on upcoming events, please visit www.chitag.com/us/networking-events or email the Chicago Toy & Game Group at info@chitag.com, or phone (847) 677-8277.

COMMENTARY: “Old Fashioned” Board Games Still Bring the Competition

I like to play a board game every now and then. These days, pulling out a thin cardboard box filled with a folded board, loose cards, and player pieces happens less frequently, and often takes some convincing on my part for my prospective opponents. However, it wasn’t always that way, and while kids today have a plethora of entertainment options to choose from, the classic board game still has a fan base. The features and effects—not to mention appearance—of games may have evolved, but a good old-fashioned friendly competition around the table is still a great way for families to connect.

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Sorry!, from Hasbro

This is one of my favorites. Up to four players start with four pawns in their start space. Players must draw a 1 or 2 to leave the start space (for each pawn). Players then make their way around the board, moving their pawns according to the cards they draw, and head for their own safety zone. The first player with all four pawns home wins. [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: Breaking the Ice: Adult-Appropriate Party Games

It’s Saturday night (undoubtedly after a long work week). A friend is throwing a huge party for the big game, or a birthday, or just because, you know, it’s Saturday. So you set off on an adventurous evening, teeming with excitement, even braving the seasonal elements if necessary. Your friend welcomes you with a cheery embrace, but as you look around the room, you come to the realization that you don’t know a single soul.

You know the moment. How do you make your way into a conversation without coming across as anything but your cool, confident self? Luckily, there’s a saving grace for these types of scenarios: party games. [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: Cooperative Games Foster Altruism and Community in Kids

Photo by Gabriele Galimbert, from Toy Stories

Photo by Gabriele Galimberti, from his photo essay Toy Stories

Our increasingly secular and wealth-driven culture might have an unforeseen consequence on our children’s—and our own—behavior: selfishness. My fellow assistant editor here at The Toy Book, Marissa DiBartolo, discovered an interesting photo essay by Gabriele Galimberti, Toy Stories, which chronicles children across the world and their toys. His finding? Children from wealthier countries were more possessive of their playthings, while poorer children were more apt to share.

I’m not sure I find his observations all that surprising. Cultures like our own, driven by accumulation and a winners-versus-losers mentality, are probably more likely to teach children that fancy material possessions are important and winning must be had at all costs. Ever played a game of Monopoly as a kid and wanted to cry after your sister or brother wiped the board with you? I have. Ever wondered where that emotion comes from? [Read more...]