TIF Contributes More Than $300,000 in Toys to TODAY Show Gift Drive

toyindustryMore than 30,000 children in need nationwide will receive brand new toys and games this holiday season, thanks to generous toy companies that partnered with the Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) to participate in the TODAY Show Holiday Gift Drive.

TIF appeared on the TODAY Show’s November 26 episode to celebrate the toy industry’s contribution to the gift drive, benefiting dozens of charities across the country. The companies pitched in to donate more than $300,000 worth of toys for families facing financial hardships and children who are sick, living in domestic violence shelters, residing on military bases, or otherwise in need.

The Foundation thanked the following companies: Cartamundi USA, Children of America Dolls, Creations By You, Do-a-Dot Art, Green Toys,
Griddly Games, International Arrivals, International Playthings, Little Pim, McNeill Designs, Orb Factory, Safari Ltd., Savvi, Schleich USA, Smart Gear, Smart Toys and Games, ThinkFun, Ukloo Kids, VTech, WowWee USA, and Wyla, Inc.

TIF has participated in the TODAY Show Gift Drive for the past four years, providing a total of 88,000 toys (valued at more than $900,000).

COMMENTARY: Construction Toys Shine Bright

9000One of the most classic toy categories is construction toys. These toys successfully compete in a market full of apps and tablets in their simplest form, without any gadgets or technology. Lego, Lincoln Logs, Tinkertoy - they’re all names that kids and parents know and love. But just because construction toys don’t need technology in order to hold their own on the shelves doesn’t mean companies aren’t trying to incorporate it, making construction toys an even more interactive play experience.

One of the most popular trends I’m seeing lately is the addition of LED lights to construction sets, turning creations into a flashy toy that you can display. Some companies have built their entire brand around this concept, such as Lite Brix and Laser Pegs. These building sets allow kids to construct creatures, characters, and vehicles that they can plug in and light up with LED lights. With this sort of creative toy, kids can make their own night lights, room decorations, or just fun creations to show their friends and family. [Read more...]

Smart Toys and Games Adds Lights to SmartMax

SMX_505 Build&Light (pack)[1]

Smart Toys and Games, Inc., producer of the SmartMax magnetic construction system, has introduced 13 new SmartMax sets that will allow children to create structures that light up, vehicles that move on their own, and new items to help create construction masterpieces.

In addition to multiple bars and magnetic balls, the new SmartMax Lighthouse and Build & Light sets each include two LED-lit bars for building houses, towers, and other structures that light up and blink. The accompanying instruction guides will help model construction ideas so children can learn how to create designs of varying shapes and heights.

All SmartMax vehicle sets complement and work with the SmartMax construction sets. The new pull back vehicle sets include Loading Luke the dump truck; Speedy Sam & Stan, two racecars in red and blue; Tommy Train, a train with hopper cars; and Rob & Ringo, a sports car and flatbed truck just waiting to race. An additional vehicle set, Pip & Pete Plane, features Pip a compact car and Pete the yellow plane. All vehicle sets allow children ages 3 and up to build various vehicles. Magnetic bars, wheels, cockpits, propellers, and friendly eyes are just a few parts that can be used to personalize each vehicle.

Tommy Train can stretch up to 35 cm in length and is perfect for transporting loads of magnetic bars or balls included in the packaging, or even small items found around the house. Pip & Pete Plane, Rob & Ringo, and Speedy Sam & Stan are perfect to share with friends because children can easily create two separate vehicles.

New add on component sets come in transparent containers and include: six long bars, eight metal balls, eight medium bars, eight curved bars, six mixed medium and large glow- in-the-dark bars, and four flowers. All SmartMax items can be used with all other SmartMax sets.

The entire 2013 SmartMax product line will be available online here in June.

Smart Toys and Games Launches SmartMax Construction Photo Contest on Facebook

PrintSmart Toys and Games Inc. invites SmartMax enthusiasts to participate in a Facebook photo contest to highlight their SmartMax construction talents for a chance to win a monthly SmartMax prize package. SmartMax builders can submit photos between the first and last day of each month and one winner per month will be announced on the SmartMax Facebook page.

U.S. residents can submit photos to contest@SmartToysAndGames.com. Each entry should include full name, age, and shipping address. Some shared photos will be posted on SmartMax’s Facebook page. There is a limit of one entry per month.

SmartMax allows children to explore the world of magnetism in a safe way, thanks to the large, strong, and easy to manipulate pieces. All SmartMax products, from the basic building sets to the themed vehicles, complement one and other and can be used together in structures.

For more information about Smart Toys and Games, visit www.SmartToysAndGames.com.