China Toy Fair


Domo Ghostbusters Co-Brand Comes to Life with New Partners

Domo.GhostbustersBig Tent Entertainment has lined up more partners to represent the pop-culture mash-up of Domo and Slimer. Underground Toys, Kelly Toy, and Funko will be releasing products portraying Domo as the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, Slimer, and a full-fledged Ghostbuster.

Underground Toys will create a line featuring plush, mugs, stickers, and more for department stores, specialty stores, stationery and gift stores, catalogs, and Internet retailers worldwide (excluding Asia). Kelly Toys will create multiple sizes of soft-sculptured toys for amusement parks and carnival and prize games in the U.S. and Canada.

Funko will be involved in a line of Domo/Ghostbusters-inspired pop vinyl figures for worldwide distribution (excluding Asia) at specialty stores, supermarkets, drug stores, catalogues, stationery and gift stores, online retailers, and mass market. [Read more...]

Exclusive SpongeBob SquarePants Plush Available at Macy’s this Holiday Season

MacysSpongeBobSpongeBob SquarePants will serve as Macy’s 2014 Holiday Ambassador, according to Macy’s Parade & Entertainment Group and Nickelodeon. Kicking off this November, an exclusive SpongeBob talking plush with sound chip and Patrick and Plankton finger puppets will be available exclusively in more than 600 full line Macy’s stores and at macys.com, as part of the Macy’s collectible plush program that runs through December 31.

The holiday plush has become a Macy’s tradition and a coveted collector’s item. The SpongeBob SquarePants plush features SpongeBob’s laugh, as well as quotes such as, “Did you know you were my best friend?” and “I’m ready, I’m ready, I’m ready.”

Douglas Company Releases New Halloween Plush

June26 Douglas Company 2The new Halloween plush at Douglas Company includes six new characters: Whodini Puff Black Cat, Cotton Ball Puff White Cat, Patch Puff Black and White Cat, Mouscarade Mouse, and two finger puppets, Boris Bat and Webber Spider.

Whodini Puff Black Cat is all black with dark purple accents on the insides of his ears and the insides of his wings. Cotton Ball Puff White Cat is pure white with a pink nose and bright orange on the inside of her ears and face mask. The Patch Puff Black and White Cat has an orange middle and a pumpkin leaf cap on his head, and Mouscarade Mouse wears a tutu and an orange satin bow on her ear.

These plush families will be available in specialty gift and toy stores in the U.S. and Canada this September.

Dedicated Rilakkuma Shop to Launch at FAO Schwarz in October

RilakkumaFAO Schwarz will convert three towers in the Grand Hall of its New York flagship store into a Rilakkuma destination for the month of October. Over the past decade, the Rilakkuma brand and its characters have become a key part of Japanese culture and the essence of the Kawaii lifestyle, which emphasizes cuteness and adorableness.

FAO Schwarz currently carries a variety of plush Rilakkuma product in its flagship store and online at fao.com. To celebrate the brand’s shop-within-a-shop launching in October, FAO Schwarz will expand its product assortment to include Kigurumis, hats, cell phone cases, ear buds, graphic t-shirts, and new plush items.

In 2003, San-X launched Rilakkuma in Japan, and Aliquantum International (AQI) has since brought the brand to North America.

Exclusive Pics from 2014 Licensing Expo

Licensing Expo, the annual meeting place for the global licensing industry, occurred last week in Las Vegas. The exhibitors included a number of the top toy companies, which were on-hand showing off upcoming play products and making announcements about new licensing deals.

Check out this exclusive gallery, which features lots of the licensed toys that we’re all sure to be excited about in the months ahead. [Read more...]

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.

Uglydoll Introduces The Wizard of Oz, Star Trek Product Lines

imagePretty Ugly LLC has teamed with CBS Consumer Products and Warner Bros. Consumer Products to launch new Uglydoll plush toys.

CBS will feature plush characters based on the Star Trek franchise. The line is set for release next year, will feature Wage as Captain James T. Kirk, Ox as first officer Spock, Ice-Bat as chief engineer Scotty, Babo as Doctor McCoy, and Tray as communications officer Uhura.

Warner Bros. is set to create plush toys based on The Wizard of OzThe whole Uglydoll crew–including Moxy, Wage, Jeero, Babo, and Ox–will dress as the iconic characters from the classic film. This series of dolls will be previewed at Licensing Expo this summer and will launch in stores in the fall.

COMMENTARY: Video Game-Based Toys Can Ease Kids into Other Kinds of Play

KNEX.SuperMarioDesertIt’s summertime, which for a lot of kids means playing outside in the sunshine, swimming, and maybe even going on trips to visit nature. But for others, summer means staying indoors and playing video games all day. It’s probably best to moderate any activity that involves staring at a screen; however, the question is, how to get video game-obsessed kids to take up a different form of play? The answer may be toys based on popular video game titles, and there are quite a few of those available right now.

We kick off our non-comprehensive list with K’NEX, which since 2010, has partnered with Nintendo on construction toys based on its popular Mario property. Recently, I spoke to an executive at the company, who said that no small part of the partnership’s success came from replicating game elements in K’NEX’s construction sets: For example, many of its Super Mario building sets have a mechanism that simulates the avatar’s in-game jumping ability. [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: Teen Titans Go! Has Licensed Toys Ready to Go

Phil.TeenTitans1.RobinFunkoIt’s been a good year for superhero comics on TV, what with the success of DC Comics’ Arrow and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., not to mention the planned fall arrivals of The Flash and Gotham. But let’s not forget the animated side of small screen super-heroics, as the second season of Teen Titans Go! premieres next month. The series resurrects Teen Titans, which aired during the mid-to-late 2000s, as something wackier and anarchic. Both shows are based on the long-running comic book of the same name, which is centered on some of the best-known teenage characters in DC’s pantheon.

Along with everyone’s favorite young sidekick, Robin, the cast includes Starfire, Cyborg, Raven, and Beast Boy. While adept at defeating evil-doers, Teen Titans Go! more often depicts them hanging out unsupervised at their team headquarters, at which point trouble worse than any super-villain tends to break out. The series is a fun romp, not to mention a good antidote to the spate of more serious, live-action superhero adaptations of late. Teen Titans Go! is currently licensed by a number of toy companies, with items for collectors, young kids, and everyone in between. But in all cases, the property’s lighthearted attitude shines through. [Read more...]

Famed Designer Gayle Middleton Debuts New Line of Plush Baby Monsters

BitemaresToy creator Gayle Middleton, who helped re-design My Little Pony and Littlest Pet Shop for Hasbro, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund her latest designs. These include a Baby Undead Dragon and toe-nibbling little fur balls called Bitemares.

“After years of designing adorable pets for Hasbro, Disney and others, I started doodling these odd, ghostly white vampire babies drinking undead dragon bottled blood in 2006,” says Middleton. “Maybe I was suffering from, ‘Cute Overload,’ and this was my way of dealing with it. I wanted to create babies that were cute but mischievous, something surprisingly off-center and bizarre… Other breeds of creepy-yet-cute monster babies started appearing on my sketch pad, and after 3 years I had coined a name for them: Vamplets.” [Read more...]