This year, Gund is expanding several popular licensed product lines with new characters, costumes, and formats. Licenses include Sesame Street; Peter Rabbit; Boo, the World’s Cutest Dog; Grumpy Cat; Curious George; and Uglydoll. The expansions include backpack clips and sound toys for Peter Rabbit, and wearable scarves, hats, and earmuffs for Grumpy Cat. [Read more...]
As reported by the Toy Industry Association (TIA), an exclusive screening of the documentary, I Am Big Bird: The Carroll Spinney Story, will take place on the evening of February 16 during the 112th North American International Toy Fair in New York City. The documentary explores the life of Spinney, the actor who has played Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch on Sesame Street since 1969. [Read more...]
The Sesame Street neighborhood is celebrating the 45th anniversary of the television show today. Sesame Street is the longest running children’s television show in history and has won 159 Emmy Awards. Domestic and international versions of the show reach 156 million children worldwide in 150 countries.
Multiple celebrities have visited the show, including Michael Jackson, Beyoncé, and Ellen DeGeneres. First Lady Michelle Obama and One Direction are two of many guests to appear throughout Season 45.
The Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) is launching an online fundraising auction to benefit TIF programs and grants, which help children in need around the world.
TIF partnered with global charity auction site, Charitybuzz, to host the auction—which includes a visit to the set of Sesame Street in New York, tickets to Nickelodeon’s 2015 Kids’ Choice Awards in Los Angeles, and private meetings with top toy executives.
Bids may be placed through September 30 at charitybuzz.com/tif.
Gone are the days when plush was simply a category of stagnant stuffed toys. Kids today can enjoy plush items that sing, dance, play music, light up, talk, and more. With technology moving ever forward, the plush category is seeing new ways to integrate interactive elements into soft products. While mechanized toys aren’t a brand new concept, many companies are producing new items that utilize today’s technologies in ways never seen before.
I’ll be honest—I wasn’t much for animated plush when I was a kid. Maybe it was the fact that interactive items didn’t really do anything cool enough to warrant sacrificing the softness and squeezability of a traditional stuffed animal. Or maybe I didn’t like the fact that you have to change the batteries. Whatever my reasons, I think I would have felt differently about interactive plush if I’d had some of the toys available today.
Peek-A-Boo Elmo, a licensed Sesame Street item from Gund, holds a cozy blue blanket to play peek-a-boo with kids ages 18 months and up. When kids press Elmo’s foot, he lifts his blanket over his face while saying phrases such as, “Where are you?” and “There you are!” One of the nicest things about Peek-A-Boo Elmo for parents is that by pressing his foot again, he turns off. I also love that he moves his arms up and down fairly quickly, enhancing the surprise factor for little ones. Elmo’s mouth also moves consistently with what he’s saying. Peek-A-Boo Elmo is programmed to say 13 phrases. [Read more...]