China Toy Fair


Women in Toys (WIT) Kicks Off New Initiatives in Dallas on October 6

WITWinningMovesWomen in Toys (WIT) has launched its new Empowerment Program with three exciting initiatives that provide members with opportunities for professional support, career development, and a roadmap to success.

The Winning Moves Empowerment Workshop gives entrepreneurs, inventors, and manufacturers the opportunity to pitch products to retail giant Wal-Mart as well as top toy and game companies including Hasbro, Spin Master, and Winning Moves Games. The event takes place on October 6 at Dallas Market Center at 1:00 pm, the day before the Toy Industry Association‘s Fall Toy Preview begins. It also features panel discussions, one-on-one speed mentoring, and networking opportunities such as a cocktail party open to women, men, members, and non-members.

One-on-One Mentoring pairs industry expert mentors with up-and-coming WIT members as well as those looking to change their career path. Volunteer mentors include manufacturers, retailers, marketing/PR agencies, and licensors. Members interested in becoming a mentor or mentee can sign up at www.womenintoys.com or contact Nancy Zwiers at nancy@funosophy.com

Learn-the-Ropes Webinars are hosted by industry experts and will provide information, insights, education, and support on a wide variety of topics. These are designed to help members with their career goals and professional development. Webinars will begin in December on Wednesdays from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Anyone looking for more information can visit www.womenintoys.com or contact Deb de Sherbinin at deb@kidsmartusa.com.

Spin Master Helps Deliver Smiles and Toys to Hospital Girls and Boys

Stars4SmilesOn September 16, celebrities joined Stars 4 Smiles for its inaugural visit to the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center’s children’s facility in Torrance, Calif.

Toys were carted through the three children’s areas at the hospital, including the pediatric ward; the pediatric outpatient clinic, where children were receiving their chemotherapy treatments; and the hospital’s playground.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles star Megan Fox, Anger Management star Brian Austin Green, Olympic Gold Medalist Carmelita Jeter, MMA fighter Tito Ortiz, comedy magician Eric Buss, The Twilight Saga films star Jackson Rathbone, Brett Davern of MTV’s Awkward, and Corbin Bleu of High School Musical distributed toys to nearly three dozen patients. [Read more...]

License to Build: Familiar Properties Fill Up the Shelves of the Construction Aisle

This article was originally published in the July/August 2014 issue of The Toy Book. To read the entire digital issue, click here.

The construction play pattern has always allowed kids to create buildable worlds and adventures straight from their imaginations. But with a recent surge of licensed toys entering the category, kids are able to build more and more familiar worlds based on their favorite existing properties. According to The NPD Group, dollar sales of licensed building sets grew by 6 percent from 2011 to 2013. As the world becomes more multi-media driven, licensed properties are deeply integrated into kids’ daily lives. Established building toy companies, as well as those looking to get their feet wet in the category, are jumping on the bandwagon with characters and environments that are already a staple among kids—and even collectors. [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: Celebrating Canada Day—Toy Style!

In case you didn’t know, this past Tuesday was the national day of Canada! Here at The Toy Book, we’re lucky enough to work with tons of awesome Canadian toy companies, and to show both our support and Canada pride, here are some of our favorite toys from great Canadian toy manufacturers:

WowWee.MipWowWee

From WowWee, we always know to expect something innovative and hi-tech, such as last year’s 32-inch-long Roboraptor. In keeping up with the robo-trend, WowWee recently rolled out MiP, a unique, dual-wheel balancing interactive robot that utilizes GestureSense technology. With MiP, kids can control the robot through a Bluetooth link to any smart device using a free app. There are fun games to play with MiP, and kids can even make it dance to songs from their iTunes library. [Read more...]

Spin Master to Participate in First Integrated Summer Camp Program

logo_spinmasterSpin Master has partnered with Youth Venture Marketing LLC and the American Camp Association (ACA) for the first integrated summer camp program. Spin Master products will be integrated into more than 135 camp programs across the U.S. at ACA-accredited camps through August. Campers will have the opportunity to interact with Spin Master brands such as DigiBirds, IONIX, Kinetic Sand, Meccano, Sew Cool, and Wackytivities.

Saban Appoints Spin Master as Global Master Toy Licensee for Popples

logo_spinmasterSaban Brands has partnered with Spin Master as global master toy licensee for Saban’s Popples brand. Popples, which launches next year, is a new animated children’s series based on the television series and toy line from the 1980s. Spin master will produce a line of children’s toys, including small dolls, collectible figures, play sets, and plush. The products will hit the U.S. market next year, followed by an expanded international program in 2016.

Poppes is a comedy series about a species of creatures that can pop into a ball. The characters are the Best Popple Pals, who always want to help their friends, neighbors, and each other.

Spin Master’s Ben Gadbois Among Consumer Goods Technology’s Visionaries List

BenGadboisIn the June issue of Consumer Goods Technology, Ben Gadbois, the global president and COO of Spin Master, will be honored as one of the magazine’s 2014 Visionaries. The list celebrates the success of people in driving notable change, both within their respective organizations and throughout the consumer goods industry as a whole.

During his 1.7 years with Spin Master, Gadbois helped to initiative a restructuring, which was necessary for the company to realign its human and financial resources in order to reposition itself for growth. The company grew nearly 20 percent last year and on pace to beat that growth this year. It is also now strategically focused on driving immersive extensions to its toy lines through the creation of entertainment properties, games, and digital experiences.

COMMENTARY: Easter Is the Other Big Holiday

I don’t know about you, but in my family, Easter is the “other” big holiday. It gets as much attention as Christmas and Thanksgiving, complete with family from near and far, a feast, candy, and, of course, Easter baskets. My sister and I are both in our 20s, but who says grown-ups can’t still get excited to open their Easter baskets and see what goodies await? While Easter isn’t the time for lots of presents, our baskets usually contain some candy, a few small trinkets, and one bigger gift. This Sunday, when kids across the country open their Easter baskets, some may be lucky enough to receive any of the following fun spring toys.

airhogsskywinder

Spin Master Air Hogs Skywinder is an awesome choice for a kid’s “big” basket gift. Kids toss the R/C stunt rocket into the air and squeeze the trigger on the remote. The rocket flies, dives, hovers, and loops, and is lightweight enough that it can be used indoors. It flies high, though, so kids will enjoy it most outside—a perfect reason to go outdoors and celebrate spring! [Read more...]

Wal-Mart’s Toy Supplier of the Year Award Goes to Spin Master

logo_spinmasterWal-Mart chose Spin Master Ltd. as the recipient of its Toy Supplier of the Year award, which was presented at the company’s annual supplier summit in Orlando, Fla. on March 13.

“We are so honored to have received such great recognition from Wal-Mart,” said Ben Gadbois, global president and chief operating officer of Spin Master Ltd. “Our goal is to collaborate with all of our retail partners to be a world class supplier and deliver high quality and innovative products. Wal-Mart’s Toy Supplier of the Year Award exudes excellence in the business, and we look forward to continuing our work with Wal-Mart for many years to come.” [Read more...]

Spin Master’s Air Hogs Offers Custom 3-D Printed Armor Piece

Feb3.HeliCageArmorWith the growing popularity of 3-D printing, Spin Master offers a custom part for its Air Hogs Heli Cage Armored Edition, a helicopter featuring removable plastic armor. Samples of the part were built using a MakerBot 3-D printer, which creates real 3-D objects by laying down drops upon drops of plastic material and building them from the bottom up. The custom part was also flight-tested by engineers and tweaked for weight balance.

Spin Master now provides an open source 3-D file of the armor part online at the Air Hogs blog. Makers can download it for free and print it using a 3-D printer. For those who do not have direct access to a 3-D printer, Air Hogs recommends Sculpteo, which will print from the 3-D file and ship the part to customers. For the very technically inclined, the 3-D file can be fully manipulated to create a truly customizable piece.