China Toy Fair


Alexander Doll Co. Celebrates 90 Years with New Offices, a Limited Edition Anniversary Collection, New Licensed Products, and a New Product Category

The Alexander Doll Co. unveiled its new mid-town location, new doll lines, and new licensed products yesterday in celebration of the company’s 90th anniversary. Since 1923, the company has grown to include collectibles, play dolls, and baby dolls for girls of all ages. For this 90th anniversary, the company has developed an assortment of six dolls to commemorate the company’s history. Re-introductions of classic sculpts and characters included in this collection are a 21-inch Cissy in a beaded dress, inspired by a photograph of Madame Alexander from 1923; an 8-inch Wendy with a Tony Sarg inspired marionette theater; a classic McGuffey Ana; and an 8-inch Wendy and a 10-inch Cissy both dressed to commemorate the anniversary. Each doll comes with a commemorative hang tag and Certificate of Authenticity.

DorothyInThePoppyField

Also on the anniversary front, Madame Alexander has marked the 75th anniversary of two iconic movies, The Wizard of Oz and Gone With the Wind, which were among the company’s first and longest continuous licenses. Each and every year since 1938, new designs have been added to these special collections, and this year is no exception. The three doll sets for Wizard of Oz collectors include a 10-inch Wicked Witch of the West with three 5-inch Winged Monkeys, a 10-inch Glinda the Good Witch withthree 5-inch girls of the Lullaby League, and a 10-inch Dorothy with three 5-inch Poppy dolls. For Gone With the Wind anniversary, the company has created a 21-inch Scarlett O’Hara resplendent in her white ruffled Prayer Dress.

SwanLakeOn the plush side, Alexander Doll Co. has responded to the concerns of modern parents relating to toy hygiene by developing a new washable dolls category. Machine washable and dryable, this collection includes the Wizard of Oz gang, Fancy Nancy, Pinkalicious, and Angelina Ballerina. Alexander Doll’s 18-inch soft cloth play dolls include several new additions, such as Bedtime Angelina, Fancy Nancy, Marabelle, and Swan Lake Angelina.

Alexander Doll will introduce a new facial sculpt on their Favorite Friends line of 18-inch vinyl play dolls this year. Favorite Friends feature rooted hair, sleep eyes, a soft cloth body, five-way jointing, and stylish outfits. Separate outfits are sold and fit most 18-inch play dolls in the market. In addition, the Dollie & Me brand of 18-inch dolls complements an apparel collection of little girl dresses sold with matching doll dresses.

Hearts&RosesBaby dolls have been an integral part of the Alexander Doll Company since the 1930s. Doll ranges include My First Baby with painted eyes and hair, and Newborn Nursery, which are lifelike baby dolls with rooted hair, sleep eyes, and a selection of accessories and outfits.

The history of the Alexander Doll Co. is a tale of growth from a small doll company to one of today’s exclusive brands in the girls’ sector. Kahn Lucas Lancaster Inc., a global designer and wholesaler of branded girls’ dresses and fashion collections, now owns the company.

COMMENTARY: Musical Toys

Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of watching a live jazz band play at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The musicians seemed to thoroughly enjoy the set, and everyone in the audience was having a blast. Remembering my own days in the school band and piano recitals, I thought about how kids can be influenced early on by musical toys and instruments. Here are some of my favorites:

The Recorder

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Stripe Recorder, from Sassafras

A classic. I can almost hear “Hot Cross Buns” just by looking at one. Recorders, while often a symbol of fourth-grade music class, can actually be a gateway into other instruments for kids. While the standard plastic, beige soprano recorder reigns supreme among young players, there are alternatives, such as Melissa and Doug’s Makin’ Music wooden recorder, Sassafras’ Stripe Recorder, or colorful recorders from 1stNote. Alfred Music Publishing offers songbooks featuring tunes from The Wizard of Oz, Looney Tunes, and others.

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30 Key Fancy Baby Grand, from Schoenhut

The Piano

FirstAct offers a Dora the Explorer electronic keyboard for kids to explore music and try out different sound effects. Kids that want a more classical experience can enjoy Schoenhut’s 30 Key Fancy Baby Grand toy piano. For the youngest pianists, Hasbro offers the Sesame Street Let’s Rock Cookie Monster keyboard, featuring one octave of wide, easy-to-press keys.

The Drums

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Learn To Play Electronic Keyboard, from Discovery Kids

Kids that are more rhythmically inclined will enjoy Discovery Kids’ Learn To Play Electronic Drumpad. The battery-operated drumpad features drum sticks and adjustable tempo. Kids can follow the light patterns to play any of eight different rhythms. Union’s Toy Drum set features a bass drum, crash cymbal, and snare drum for little drummers to rock and roll. For a more laid-back beat, Remo’s Kids Bongo lets kids bang it out in colorful style, and are pitched high and low.

What are your kids’ favorite instruments? Let us know in the comment section!

For more commentary from Christine, check back often. 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!

Warner Bros. Consumer Products Unveils Product Lineup for “The Wizard Of Oz” Anniversary

Warner Bros. Consumer Products has announced its roster of licensees set to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of The Wizard of Oz next year. Master toy partner Jazwares, as well as USAopoly and Mattel, are among the partners. [Read more...]

Spooky Cool Labs, Warner Bros. Announce New Facebook Game

Spooky Cool Labs and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment have announced The Wizard of Oz game for Facebook. The game is based on the film and includes music from the original soundtrack. It also features video clips from the film and resemblance of characters , including Judy Garland and Margaret Hamilton.

Players will have the opportunity to build their own Munchkintown by constructing buildings, interacting with locals, and building the Yellow Brick Road to help lead Dorothy and her friends to Emerald City. As players travel through the Land of Oz, they will run into other characters and will have a chance to defend the townspeople from the Wicked Witch of the West and her Winged Monkeys. Player can visit other Munchkinlands and help with quests.

Visit http://apps.facebook.com/wozgame to collect items that The Wicked Witch of the East left behind, as well as the Ruby Slippers, for a limited time.

Costume Changes Continue for Warner Bros. Consumer Products

Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP) and Rubie’s Costume Co. (RCC) have announced that they have renewed their global licensing contract. The agreement gives RCC the right to continue producing costumes based on Warner Bros. products, which it’s held since 1999.

RCC’s contract with WBCP includes the North American, Oceanic, Middle Eastern, Asian, and various other markets, with products ranging from franchises such as DC Comics super heroes and Harry Potter, to The Lord of the Rings and The Wizard of Oz.