China Toy Fair


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...]

Spin Master Launches Paw Patrol Toy Line Exclusively at Toys “R” Us

PawPatrolPaw Patrol is headed to Toys “R” Us stores nationwide and online at toysrus.com on May 18. Developed by Spin Master Ltd., Paw Patrol is the No. 1 rated preschool series and airs weekdays on Nickelodeon. Throughout June, Toys “R” Us will be the only retailer to offer the new preschool line of plush, vehicles, figures, and more based on the TV show.

The new product range includes a number of collectible items for kids ages 3 and up.

The Action Pack Pup with Badge figure comes with a push-button transforming backpack and a kid-sized, snap-on role-play badge.

Paw Patrol Racers each include a pup or a figure molded inside that hero’s signature vehicle. [Read more...]

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.