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.

COMMENTARY: Friendly Monsters Come to Life with The Horndribbles

imageAdventures of the Horndribbles: Zapp and the Oogah-Oogah Nut, by Herbert Joel and published by Explorers’ Playground Inc., is the tale of four creature friends that work together to save one of their own when he finds himself in potential danger. The Horndribbles live on—you guessed it—Horndribble Island, a fantastical land with lakes, forests, mountains, and beaches with names such as “Waka Forest,” “Rumblethump,” “Pinball Rapids,” “Willy Nilly Waterway,” “Namby Pamby Creek,” and “Gadzooks Glacier Range,” just to name a few.

My favorite part of the book is the map of Horndribble Island, printed on the inside front cover. [Read more...]

Douglas Offers New Dogs, Farm Animals, and Other Plush This Year

Douglas Classics has introduced over 70 new classic breeds for their line of plush toys this year. The new toy range includes farm animals, dogs, ponies, and wildlife animals. Douglas will be introducing a kennel packed with new dogs such as Bob the Beagle and Tick Tock the Springer Spaniel, new farm animals including Little Bit the Lamb and Harriet the Dairy Cow, and new ponies such as Roma the Black Horse and MacClay the Clydesdale. There will also be new wildlife animals including Suzette the Fox.

The new items will hit the shelves in early March and will be available at specialty and toy stores in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. Douglas Classic Animals come in sizes of 4.5 inches to 32 inches.

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...]

Entertainment One Expands Peppa Pig Brand

peppa_pigEntertainment One Family announces the U.S. expansion of the Peppa Pig brand. Based on the Nick Jr. animated television series Peppa Pig, the licensing deals will mark the brand’s U.S. debut in several categories: games and puzzles, backpacks and lunch kits, health, beauty and accessories, novelty gear, and magazine publishing.

The deal includes TCG‘s Tumble & Spin memory game and Fast Forward‘s Peppa Pig backpacks and lunch kits for children ages 2 to 6. Added Extras will produce a line of hair accessories, bath and hair products, lip balm, and costume jewelry. Underground Toys will produce an assortment of collectible gear for Peppa fans of all ages.

In addition to the new licensing deals, the brand will launch the following line extensions: Redan Publishing will dedicated an issue of their interactive magazine to Peppa Pig for children, Fisher-Price will release new Bedtime Peppa plush dolls and Muddy Puddles Bathtime Peppa toys, and an assortment of new board, softcover, and hardcover books will be launched in this year by Scholastic and Candlewick PressEntertainment One’s  new DVD Bubbles will include ten fun-filled episodes featuring wholesome entertainment for the entire family. All products are set to be released throughout the remainder of this year and 2014.

The WorryWoo Monsters Add New Books and Plush Dolls to Collection

The WorryWoo Monsters are adding new hardcover books and plush dolls to their collection. This series is meant to give children uplifting messages and allow for an open dialogue between parents and their children about subjects that don’t have easy answers.

Beginning in October, kids can enjoy reading The Very Frustrated Monster, a story about a monster called Twitch that allows frustration to get the best of him all the time. Twitch will also be available in an 11-inch plush bear with a purple body, wings, and twisty thorns. This toy is recommended for children ages 3 and up.

Don’t Feed the WorryBug is a book that talks about Wince, the Monster of Worry. Wince tries to keep his worries under control but is always tempted by another character, The WorryBug. Wince is available in an 11-inch doll with silky ears, a tail, and wings. Wince’s nemesis, The WorryBug, is also a new addition to the WorryWoo Monsters collection. This six-inch plush doll loves to worry all the time and was designed for all ages. The more a child worries, the more this monster will eat.