Herokins, from Little Heroes Technologies, is a line of wearable smart toys that foster shared experiences between parents and children. Herokins celebrates the adventure of learning through engaging StoryQuests that intrinsically motivate children to gain their independence while staying safe. The line features a mobile app, as well as two Bluetooth-enabled action figures, Axel McRed and Dr. Rose, which guide users on adventures that strengthen family bonds and facilitate learning.
The Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) will hold a fall toy giveaway for U.S. Navy families stationed in Rota, Spain. Held in partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) Military Services, the October event will bring brand new toys and a day of play to 1,000 children living overseas.
Details about contributing toys to the Spain event will be made available in the coming weeks. For more information about charitable opportunities, interested parties can contact the TIF’s Elizabeth Max at (646) 520-4851 or fill out a donation form at the TIF website.
Disney XD has entered into an agreement with Dentsu Entertainment USA Inc. to telecast 26 half-hour episodes of Yo-Kai Watch in the U.S. Based on an original concept by Level 5 Inc., Yo-Kai Watch is a joint production effort by Level 5 Inc., Dentsu Inc., and TV Tokyo Corporation. Level-5 will be leading rights management and marketing coordination for the franchise.
As reported by the Toy Industry Association (TIA), the upcoming Children’s Advertising and Review Unit (CARU) annual conference in New York City will explore challenging issues facing companies that advertise to children, including mobile and online technologies and modifications to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Co-located with the National Advertising Division (NAD) conference scheduled for September 28 to 29, the CARU event will take place on September 30 at the Ritz-Carlton New York in Battery Park.
A new study from NRF Protect finds that retailers lose billions of dollars to shoplifting, employee and vendor theft, and administrative error—collectively known as inventory shrink. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF)/University of Florida National Retail Security Survey (NRSS), retailers say inventory shrink averaged 1.38 percent of retail sales, or $44 billion, last year. The report was sponsored by The Retail Equation.
The Toy Industry Association (TIA) will host a webinar, From PDA to Pandora: A Decade of Technology Disruption and How it Affects the Family, on December 10. The one-hour webinar will provide an overview of trends in consumer electronics ownership among families—and how technology is expected to impact future play trends.
Russ Crupnick, consultant at The NPD Group and managing partner of MusicWatch Inc., will present the webinar, which will be moderated by Anne McConnell, TIA director of market research and data strategy. Crupnick will highlight key trends from NPD’s Kids & CE reports from the last 10 years, as well as provide a recap of his presentation at PlayCon last spring, which addressed the impact of technology in the toy market.
Webinar participants will learn key trends in consumer electronics ownership and usage; what influences families to purchase tech devices for children, how the products are used, and how adoption varies by age and gender; how technology fragments toy and play customers and impacts different segments of the customer base; and how technology changes shopping and discovery habits—and how marketers need to adapt.
The webinar is free for TIA members and $49 for non-members. Registration is required. Questions from participants may be submitted in advance to TIA’s Jackie Retzer at firstname.lastname@example.org, and answers will be folded into the presentation when possible. The session will be recorded and available post-event for those who are unable to participate live.
The first entry in The Toy Insider‘s newest Fun with Kids video series launched this week at Woman’s Day. The latest video can be found on the Woman’s Day site’s front page, and the series will run for the next five weeks leading up to the holidays, reaching the site’s 3.9 million unique monthly visitors (Note: The Toy Insider is published by Adventure Publishing Group, which also owns The Toy Book).
In “Toys in Motion,” Toy Insider Mom Laurie Schacht and Woman’s Day‘s Senior Editor Taryn Mohrman show off this season’s hottest toys that race, fly, and ride. Products shown in the video include: The Rockin’ Rider Patriot Rocking Horse, from Tek Nek Toys; the Air Storm Firetek Bow, from Zing; the Planes Fire and Rescue U-Command Dusty, from Thinkway Toys; the Hot Wheels Street Hawk, from Mattel; the Heli Beast, from Silverlit; the Sky Viper Camera Drone, from Skyrocket Toys; the Hot Wheels High Jump Frenzy, from Toy State; the Extreme Beast, from Maisto; the Y Flicker Lift, from Yvolution; and the PowerRider 360, from Razor.
As part of the partnership, MSC Cruises is implementing a special program across its fleet in which children, as well as adults, can compete in Lego-themed competitions and games on a designated day of sailing. Children who participate in the Lego Experience Day will receive an official Lego Junior Master Builder diploma. In addition, all guests will have the chance to meet and greet Sailor Walkabout—the Lego Sailor Mascot—who will be available during cruises for photos and entertainment.
The Lego Group is also designing new play areas on the MSC Armonia, which will re-enter service this November. All the Lego features will be available free of charge to guests, and will be replicated on two new ships of the MSC fleet, scheduled to be delivered in 2017.
Visitors to the new American Girl specialty boutiques will find a curated assortment of the company’s most popular products, including the My American Girl personalized, contemporary doll line and the annually-launched Girl of the Year dolls. They will also carry a selection of the company’s Dress Like Your Doll clothing for girls, as well as American Girl books, which will be translated into Spanish. In addition, there will be the signature Doll Hair Salon.
The first two American Girl shop-in-shop boutiques will open next summer at El Palacio de Hierro’s Perisur and Interlomas locations in Mexico City, followed by a third boutique at the Polanco location in next fall.
UK toymaker Arklu has announced the winning design for its Lottie doll superhero competition, which was part of a campaign launched to demonstrate that girls can be superheroes, too. The contest was independently judged by the Brave Girls Alliance.
The winning design was inspired by 6-year-old Lily from Ohio. As part of her entry, Lily was asked to define Super Lottie’s abilities. She said Lottie’s superpowers should include “the power to be anything, to do anything, and to make the world a better place. She is unique and special in her own way.”
The set marks the first time that a crowd-sourced design by a child has gone into commercial production.
Lottie dolls were created with a focus on maintaining wholesome characteristics. The dolls have a healthy, childlike body shape, wear childlike clothing (no make-up, high heels, or tattoos), and represent wholesome pastimes. This year, Arklu also introduced a range of dolls exploring gender-empowering, adventurous themes.
Lottie’s new outfit and a matching kids costume inspired by Lily’s design are available now.