China Toy Fair


Puzzles, Costumes, and More All Part of DHX Brands’ Line-up for Teletubbies

DHXMediaOriginalTeletubbiesDHX Brands has appointed numerous new UK licensing partners for the revamped Teletubbies series. Copyright Promotions Licensing Group (CPLG) brokered the deals.

CPLG secured deals with Ravensburger to produce themed puzzles, MV Sports for wheeled and outdoor toys, and International Greetings for the arts and crafts category. Rainbow Productions has been enlisted to create costumes based on characters Tinky Winky, Laa Laa, Dipsy, and Po.

DHX Brands has also recently appointed Character Options as global master toy partner.

Products are expected to arrive in retail locations beginning in 2016.

Tetris Turns 30 with Worldwide Birthday Meet-Up

TetrislogoTetris is turning 30, and to celebrate, the iconic puzzle game brand invites game fans to meet up on June 6, the official anniversary date. Meet up planners can register the time and location for their June 6 event at meetup.com/tetris30, with a Meetup.com account, and invite friends and community to come together and celebrate all-things Tetris.

Fans are encouraged to tweet their photos with the hashtags #Tetris30 and #WeAllFitTogether, to promote their local meet ups on tetris.com, Twitter, and Facebook. Meanwhile, the challenge is on at meetup.com/tetris30 for fans to celebrate the anniversary in their own creative way.

University Games Acquires Briarpatch Inc.

UniversityGameslogoUniversity Games will acquire the assets of Briarpatch Inc., a manufacturer of preschool specialty games and puzzles based on popular literary properties such as I Spy and Fancy Nancy.

The merger will increase University Games’ domestic revenue by approximately 20 percent. Additionally, the Briarpatch licenses will augment University Games’ Colorforms business. University Games will begin shipping Briarpatch products this month.

John Donofrio and Martine Redman founded Briarpatch in 1991, and Donofrio will join University Games in a consulting role.

Les Berger, Founder of Cardinal Industries, Passes Away at Age 95

The Toy Book is so sorry to hear about the passing of Leslie Berger, founder of Cardinal Industries.

In 1944, Les Berger founded the company with a dream and knowledge of plastics, on the corner of Keape and Hope Streets in Brooklyn, N.Y. The first product that he produced was dominoes. Now Cardinal Industries games and puzzles in some of the most popular licenses, while maintaining business in core basic games, such as dominoes. Berger continued to work, and until very recently, was still coming into the office to work. He was a true pioneer in the business.

Berger lived his 95 years surrounded by a loving family. His son Joel and daughter Bonnie, who have take over and grown the company to a very successful privately owned toy company that is committed to making family-friendly, challenging, and innovative games and puzzles that are affordable for everyone. His wife Sylvia has been his partner in life and business for 64 years.

He will be profoundly missed by his entire family:  Sylvia, Joel, Bonnie, Jody, his grandchildren Carly, Ilana, Justin, Perri; and his numerous friends and countless associates in the toy industry.

Professor Layton Is as Puzzling as Ever in New 3DS Game

NintendoProfessor Layton and the Azran Legacy, by Nintendo, is now available on the Nintendo 3DS. In this final game in the series’ second trilogy, the professor and his assistants, Luke and Emmy, board the airship Bostonius and journey to locations all over the world as they solve the greatest puzzle mankind has ever faced.

Players move the twisting story along by completing puzzles that include riddles, brain teasers, and action sequences. In addition to encountering numerous puzzles during the main story, others can be discovered by exploring the environment or speaking with certain characters.

COMMENTARY: Putting It Together

Ever since I was a kid, I have been a huge fan of puzzles. I am, by no means, a patient person, but there is something so calming and relaxing about trying to figure out how 1,000 pieces fit together to create a picture. New puzzles on the market are taking the traditional toy to a whole new level for all ages. With additions like a fourth dimension, augmented reality, or sound effects, puzzles are keeping up with the changing times and adapting for new generations. Here are some of my favorite puzzles on the market, each with its own little added twist.

4D Cityscape History Puzzle - New York City 2013The puzzles from 4D Cityscape are quite the undertaking, but they are definitely rewarding and educational at the same time. The key to 4D Cityscape puzzles are the fourth dimension: time. Puzzle builders put together a 3-D puzzle of a city, and then add the buildings, structures, and landmarks in order according to a provided timeline, learning the history of the city as well as the layout. This 4-D adventure allows you to explore the cities of the world, including New York, London, Paris, Tokyo, and more. A personal favorite of mine is the upcoming 4-D puzzle of Westeros, that was introduced by HBO at Comic-Con International: San Diego (and that I gushed about, along with other great Game of Thrones products, here). Whether you’re exploring the real world or a fictional one, 4D Cityscape puzzles are an entertaining way to travel—without all those pesky airline regulations. [Read more...]

Ceaco Introduces Tricky Puzzle Series Called The Baffler

Ceaco is introducing a new puzzle series created by artist Chris Yates that is being described as “the most unique puzzle ever,” The Baffler. Each puzzle image in the series is randomly designed and cut into unique shapes so it is tricky to put it back together. The Baffler puzzles have no straight edges and no overlapping images.

Each of the three puzzles in the series has a unique piece count: 67 pieces, 69 pieces and 78 pieces. The puzzles featuring Yates’ creations include the “Spiral of Archimedes,” “The Nonagon,” and “Bindu Truss.” The puzzles will be available this October.

Artist Eilers’ Paintings Featured on New Ceaco Puzzles

Ceaco has secured an exclusive license to produce jigsaw puzzles using paintings by Ellen Eilers, a 93-year-old country artist from Alexandria, Minn. Eilers creates her artwork at her kitchen table, painting for eight to 10 hours everyday by using household materials like drinking straws and toothpicks. Her inspiration is “simple country living.”

Ceaco is offering three different 550-piece puzzles featuring Eilers’ paintings. The puzzle series, titled Life in Calico Country, is available now.