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...]

Todd McFarlane Productions and Image Comics To Release Visual Biography

The Art of Todd McFarlane: The Devil’s in the Details, Todd McFarlane’s first and only art book, is scheduled to hit shelves nationwide Wednesday, November 21.

A visual biography celebrating almost 30 years of artwork from one of the comic industry’s most popular and iconic artist personalities, The Art of Todd McFarlane: The Devil’s in the Details, is not just another art book. It follows McFarlane’s journey from a young comic book fan mimicking his favorite artists to his subsequent rise to comic book stardom. McFarlane, himself, provides hundreds of anecdotes throughout the 400-page book, walking the fans through his career.

Fans will receive a look at McFarlane’s creative take on characters from both DC and Marvel Comics and learn more about his move in helping to form Image Comics, where he published his brainchild, Spawn. In addition, fans get an exclusive peek at McFarlane’s first forays into various media, including toys, film, animation, music videos, and video games.