Brush Buddies Launches Smurf-Themed Toothbrushes

BRUSH BUDDIES SMURFSIn anticipation of Sony Pictures Animation’s release of The Smurfs 2, in theaters July 31, Brush Buddies announces a partnership with Sony Pictures Consumer Products for the launch of Brush Buddies Smurfs Poppin’ toothbrushes, Brush Buddies Smurfs Talking Toothbrushes, and Brush Buddies Smurfs manual toothbrushes. This collection will be the newest addition to the Brush Buddies licensed toothbrush collection.

The Poppin’ and Talking line is designed with safety features in mind for kids ages 2 to 11 years old. The products are BPA free with soft DuPont Tynex Bristles and designed with an ergonomic handle that easily fits a child’s hands.

To order your own Smurfs Poppin’ or Talking Toothbrushes, visit www.brushbuddies.com/thesmurfs.  The products are also available at Toys “R” Us and Walmart.

Build-A-Bear Workshop Teams Up with the Smurfs

SmurfetteCGIBuild-A-Bear Workshop will introduce its second collection of Smurf characters in honor of Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation’s The Smurfs 2, in theaters July 31. Find the newest friends from the film, Vexy and Hackus, joining Smurfette on their latest adventure at Build-A-Bear Workshop and online at buildabear.com.

To celebrate the Smurfs’ arrival, Build-A-Bear Workshop is holding an #IlovemySmurf Instagram contest. Guests are invited to take a picture of their Smurfs plush from Build-A-Bear Workshop and share it on Instagram using the hashtag #IlovemySmurf in their Instagram photo. Images will be judged on a set of criteria and the five best photos will win. Winners will receive a $50 Bear Buck$ gift card. The contest runs from July 12- July 21.

Make-your-own Smurfette, Vexy, and Hackus can be outfitted in a variety of Smurfs clothing and accessories, including Smurfette dress, Smurfette and Vexy pajamas, Smurf BFF slippers, Vexy skirt outfit, Smurf hoodie, and Smurfs theme song (La La Song).

COMMENTARY: Spanning Generations: Modern Takes on Classic Brands

Nostalgia is a growing trend in the toy and licensing industry, but recently many classic brands have been given a modern reboot. The modernized take on classic brands offer fun for consumers both young and old, spanning generations and providing licensees with multiple new opportunities. Today, some modernized takes on old favorites live along side their predecessors.

PlaymatesToys.BasicMutagenOozeTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT), for example, launched in the 1980s. A huge, revolutionary boys’ property, the brand was given a reboot last year when a new TMNT animated series launched in September on Nickelodeon. The brand has seen massive success in the toy industry, with partners including Playmates Toys with a full line of figures and play sets, bubbles and water toys from Little Kids, and awesome electronics from Sakar International, including adorable TMNT earbuds. In addition to producing toys based on the new animated series, Playmates Toys also offers a classic collection including all four turtles, which reflects the look of the characters in the original series. [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: This Summer’s Cinema Gets Cuddly

With the release of The Smurfs 2, Despicable Me 2, and Monsters University this summer, the movie theater will be a great destination for rainy days – and those days that are just too hot. With summer blockbusters come, of course, summer toys based on these movies to bring the movie worlds to life for fans. When it comes down to it, some of the best toys from these franchises are the simplest: plush toys. Plush toys allow kids to bring home new friends in cuddly, soft versions of their favorite characters. Bring the movie characters to life with these great plush products from your favorite summer movie:

54008Smurfs_Movie_Basic_Plush_SmurfetteJakks Pacific will introduce a line of 11-inch plush based on the characters from The Smurfs 2. With 12 characters to collect, kids can bring home their favorite friends from Smurfette to Grouchy to Papa Smurf. These Smurf plush toys aren’t just for fans of the new movie, but also for Smurf fans of all ages. [Read more...]

Global Smurfs Day Events to Be Held Worldwide June 22

SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT GLOBAL SMURFS DAYColumbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation will once again coordinate events all over the world on June 22 as part of Global Smurfs Day, a worldwide event in anticipation of the release of The Smurfs 2, in theaters July 31. Global Smurfs Day celebrates the birthday of Peyo, the creator of the Smurfs, born June 25, 1928.

This will be the second celebration of Global Smurfs Day. In 2011, the round-the-world events included painting one of the famous White Towns of Andalusia blue and setting a new record for Largest Gathering of People Dressed as Smurfs within a 24-hour period. This year, the studio has lined up a program of events, highlighted by a worldwide Smurf Ambassadors initiative, in which more than 40 ambassadors from 28 countries will represent Smurfs fans from around the world with a special day of events celebrating Peyo’s creation. [Read more...]

The Smurfs Celebrate “America the Bluetiful” to Help Preserve the Environment

SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT AMERICA THE BLUETIFULIn anticipation of the worldwide release of Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Animation’s The Smurfs 2 on July 31, and in honor of the Smurfs’ message of harmony with the environment, the studio is orchestrating a nationwide series of environmental efforts celebrating “America the Bluetiful,” in which kids and their parents can meet the Smurfs as they clean up their local parks, encourage recycling, plant trees, and discover other ways they can help “bluetify” the U.S.

Highlights of the initiatives include:

  • Boston: the Smurfs will join in cleaning up Canal Park at CambridgeSide Galleria and planting blue flowers
  • Minneapolis: the Smurfs were a part of the Grand Old Day celebration, where Twin Cities residents were encouraged to recycle
  • Chicago: the Smurfs were at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, where staff was on hand with ecology activities and community ecology information
  • Philadelphia: kids and Smurfs will clean up a recreation center and bluetify a city garden
  • Atlanta: kids have taken a pledge at Georgia Aquarium to bluetify the country
  • St. Louis: the Smurfs will help pick up trash in Kiener Plaza
  • San Francisco: the Smurfs will work with San Francisco Recreation and Parks to plant, mulch, and clean up Strawberry Hill in Golden Gate Park
  • San Diego: the Surfs and kids will participate in a beach cleanup day

As the Smurfs check in to each city, audiences can participate online at AmericaTheBluetiful.com, where they can vote on their favorite landmarks to “bluetify”—literally turning them blue online.

Britney Spears to Release New Song for New Smurfs Movie

smurfs2Britney Spears will release a song for Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Animation‘s family comedy The Smurfs 2, titled “Ooh La La,” via Kemosabe/RCA Records. “Ooh La La” will play at the end credits of the film. The Smurfs 2, the sequel to the hybrid live action/animated film released in 2011, is set to hit theaters on July 31.

Spears says, “I have always loved the Smurfs as a kid and now my boys are the biggest Smurfs fans ever. I wanted to surprise them with a song in the movie. I know they’ll think it’s Smurftastic!”

COMMENTARY: Construction Toys Capitalize on Upcoming Blockbusters

Lego Metropolis Showdown, based on Man of Steel film

Lego Metropolis Showdown, based on the upcoming Man of Steel film

I’m a huge sucker for blockbuster films. I also love construction toys. So you can image my excitement at the American International Toy Fair last month when I discovered that many of this year’s big films will also make their way to the construction toy aisle.

Construction is one of the healthiest categories in the toy industry right now. According to the NPD Group’s Retail Tracking Service, building sets saw a 23 percent increase in sales from 2011 to 2012. The next closest category of growth (and it’s not even that close) was arts and crafts with 8 percent. A lot of this, of course, had to do with the success of Lego Friends last year. I think it’s safe to say we can expect Lego’s competitors—Mega Brands and Hasbro—to attempt to capitalize on this new boon.

Here are a few of the construction toys I’m excited about that are based on or capitalizing on upcoming films:

G.I. Joe: Retaliation

Kre-O G.I. Joe Ninja Temple Battle Construction Set

Kre-O G.I. Joe Ninja Temple Battle

In theaters tomorrow, G.I. Joe: Retaliation finds the G.I. Joes framed as enemy traitors and fighting for their survival against a shadow U.S. President. Channing Tatum (Duke) and Byung-hun Lee (Storm Shadow) are reprising their roles from the first film, while new cast members such as Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson (Roadblock) and Bruce Willis (Gen. Colton) will add some extra star power. Hasbro’s Kre-O brand last month launched a whole line of G.I. Joe construction sets and micro-figures based on Hasbro’s own G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero property. While not based on the new film, it’s particularly well-timed. The Kre-O G.I. Joe Cobra Armored Assault Construction Set features a buildable tank and a 4×4 vehicle along with three Cobra figures. I’m a big Storm Shadow fan, so I’m also stoked about the Kre-O G.I. Joe Ninja Temple Battle Construction Set.

The Smurfs 2

Smurfette's House

Smurfette’s House

Set for release this summer, The Smurfs 2 will introduce several new characters including some not-so-nice Smurf-like creatures known as the Naughties. The little blue guys find Smurfette has been kidnapped in a plot to turn the evil Naughties into real Smurfs. Christina Ricci lends her voice as Vexy, one of the Naughties. And Katy Perry (yes, that Katy Perry) reprises her role as Smurfette. Mega Brands will release building sets and adorable figures based on the classic The Smurfs property this spring. While not based on the film, these toys seem well-timed. Smurfette’s House is a fully buildable mushroom house playset. The pink and violet two-story mushroom house includes a buildable bed, a makeup table with mirror, and a living room set. I’m stoked on the Racin’ Smurfs set, which includes two buildable racing cars, two Smurfs, obstacles, and a winner’s podium.

The Lone Ranger

Lego Lone Ranger Stagecoach Escape

Lego Lone Ranger Stagecoach Escape

While Lego has some great DC Universe building sets just in time for the upcoming Man of Steel film, I’m more excited about Lego’s The Lone Ranger sets tied to the new Disney film, The Lone Ranger. Johnny Depp will play the Native American warrior Tonto, and Lego nails it with its Tonto micro-figure—it has Johnny Depp smeared all over it. The Lego Lone Ranger Stagecoach Escape features a buildable Western stagecoach with horses and micro-figures (yes, Tonto is included). Word among the Lego folks at Toy Fair was that Disney loved the Lego stagecoach designs so much that they wrote a stagecoach chase into the film just so the item could be part of the line. It’s that awesome.

For more commentary from Loren, check back each Wednesday afternoon. Views expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Toy Book as a whole. We hope that you will share your comments and feedback below. Until next time!