China Toy Fair


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...]

DHX Media Signs Golden Bear Toys as Twirlywoos Master Toy Partner

UK broadcaster CBeebies has commissioned a brand new preschool series, Twirlywoos, from Ragdoll Productions. The series, set to air next year, will revolve around the Twirlywoos: four small, bird-like characters who are inquisitive, enthusiastic, and constantly looking to learn something new about the world.

Twirlywoos will combine stop-frame animation and live action sequences set in the real world. It will be produced in association with DHX Media, which will handle global distribution, merchandising, brand management, and marketing. DHX Brands, the consumer products arm of DHX Media, has signed a global master toy deal with Golden Bear Toys, which will launch product in 2016, with a key focus on plush and plastics (play sets/figurines), bath toys and games, and activity products.

VTech Go! Go! Smart Friends Line Available Exclusively at Toys “R” Us

VTech.GoGoSmartFriendsBusySoundsVTech has launched Go! Go! Smart Friends, available exclusively at Toys “R” Us stores nationwide and online at toysrus.com.

The Go! Go! Smart Friends line features colorful play sets and characters that infuse traditional role-play with modern technology. MagicPoint locations bring the characters and play sets to life with lights, sounds, and music.

The Go! Go! Smart Friends Busy Sounds Discovery Home is an interactive house featuring nine MagicPoint locations that encourage imaginative play and emphasize cause and effect relationships. Additionally, it includes VTech’s new MagicChat feature, which allows two figures to chat and sing songs together.

The Go! Go! Smart Friends Spin-Around Sounds Carnival features five MagicPoint locations and five play pieces that can be used together to encourage creative play. [Read more...]

Tamagotchi Returns with New Tamagotchi Friends

TamagotchiFriendsThis month sees the release of a new generation of Tamagotchi toys from Bandai America. Like the original Tamagotchi, Tamagotchi Friends egg characters hatch, at which point the owner raises it from birth to adult. This includes feeding it when it is hungry, providing medicine when it is sick, and bathing it. Owners can also play games to earn Gotchi Points, which can be used to buy meals, snacks, and jewelry.
By bumping them into each other, Tamagotchi Friends characters can send text messages and gifts, and even go on play dates. More bumps lead to more points and rewards that the owner will earn.
Tamagotchi Friends Digital Friend devices are available in six different designs. Bandai is also releasing figures and play sets—including multi-character packs and a two-level café—exclusively at Toys “R” Us and toysrus.com.

AG Properties and Just Play Launch New Care Bears Toy Line

JustPlay.CareBearsA new partnership between AG Properties (AGP) and Just Play will bring an all-new Care Bears toy line to major retail outlets this fall. The Just Play toy line will feature plush, as well as an assortment of Care Bears figures and play sets that will give children the chance to create special connections and enjoy make-believe adventures.

Arriving at U.S. retailers nationwide in September, the line will feature Cheer Bear, Funshine Bear, Share Bear, Harmony Bear, Tenderheart Bear, and Grumpy Bear, all of which help teach kids about emotions, empathy and caring. The Just Play toys extend an expansive Care Bears consumer reach across multiple categories.

Jazwares Appointed Master Toy Partner for Ella the Elephant

DHXMEDIAEllaDHX Media has appointed Jazwares Inc. as the global master toy partner on preschool property Ella the Elephant for the U.S., Canada, UK, Ireland, Latin America, Middle East, Australia, Spain, and Norway. The deal will enable Jazwares to launch worldwide plush, dolls figures, and play sets, vehicles, role play, and musical instruments based on the animated preschool series, which is currently airing weekdays on Disney Channel and Disney Junior.

Ella the Elephant is a charming and whimsical animated preschool series based on the award-winning Ella the Elegant Elephant book series written by Carmela D’Amico and illustrated by Steven D’Amico. The series follows the adventures of Ella and her friends on Elephant Islands. Ella is a spirited little elephant with a big heart, bigger imagination, and a magic hat that can transform into almost anything.

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.

Captain Action Returns to Action, Courtesy of ZICA Toys

CaptainActionZICA Toys and Action Enterprises have teamed up to produce a series of retro, 3.75-inch Captain Action figures, vehicles, and play sets. They will be on sale internationally late this year.

Stan Weston created the original Captain Action figure in 1966 for Ideal Toys. It came equipped with a wardrobe of costumes, allowing Captain Action to become many different heroes such as Batman, The Lone Ranger, and the Green Hornet. The line proved popular that it was expanded to include a sidekick, Action Boy, and villain, Dr. Evil. The first wave of new toys will include Captain Action, Action Boy, Dr. Evil, and the Silver Streak vehicle.

Jazwares’ Gravity Falls Toys to Arrive This Fall

Jazwares.GravityFallsJazwares has created a new Gravity Falls toy line based on the popular Disney TV series. The line-up will include figures, plush, role-play, and play-set toys, and the first wave will see release this fall at retailers across the U.S.

The initial retail focus of the toy line will be in specialty stores nationwide. Currently, Gravity Falls is a top-rated show on Disney Channel among kids ages 2 to 11 and 6 to 11, and tweens ages 9 to 14. It follows the adventures of Dipper and Mabel Pines, twins spending the summer with their eccentric great-uncle Stan in the town of Gravity Falls, Oregon, where things are never as they seem.

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.