China Toy Fair


Auldey Toys North America to Launch Next Year, Appoints Adrian Roche as President

AudleyChina-based Guangdong Alpha Animation and Culture Co. Ltd. has created Auldey Toys North America, which will launch its new headquarters in Boston, Mass. The Auldey Toys subsidiary comes as the company prepares for 2015, which will feature a focus on its established boys, R/C, and vehicles lines.

Auldey Toys will also launch its first North American preschool animation program, Super Wings, which will air next year.

Auldey Toys North America has appointed Adrian Roche as the company president. Joining Auldey Toys after eight years as vice president of brands at Mega Brands, and previously serving as vice president at The First Years (Tomy), Roche brings significant experience in the boys and preschool categories.

Auldey Toys North America has retained ChizComm Ltd. as its marketing agency.

Schleich Names Jeremy Robinson as New Country Manager

Jeremy RobinsonJeremy Robinson has been appointed as Schleich UK’s new country manager. He will take over responsibility for the UK and Eire from Gary Wilmot.

Robinson, who took up his new post beginning this month, has a wealth of sales experience within the toy trade, having held senior sales posts previously at Tomy and Bluw.

Sega Reveals Details about Sonic Boom Video Games

SonicWiiUconceptartSega will debut Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric, developed by Big Red Button for the Wii U, and Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal, developed by Sanzaru Games for the Nintendo 3DS, at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles. The games will introduce new gameplay and the vilest villain in Sonic history: Lyric.

In both games, Sonic and his friends will work together to face Lyric, a giant snake-like creature from an ancient race. Gameplay will strongly focus on collaboration, making each of the team members’ roles elevated to capitalize each character’s unique talents and abilities. Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy, and Sticks will need to band together as a team to prevent Lyric from powering his army of robots and carrying out his plan to destroy the world.

Both games were created to take full advantage of the gameplay mechanics of their respective consoles. Sonic Boom: Rise of the Lyric will be the first Wii U game to incorporate Cryengine, a 3-D game technology from Cyrtek, and will exhibit visually enhanced lush environments and landscapes within the game. [Read more...]

Sega Creates All-New Character, Sticks, for Sonic Boom Franchise

SticksArtSega has introduced Sticks, a brand new character that will play an integral role across all Sonic Boom platforms. Sonic Boom is the newest branch of the Sonic the Hedgehog universe and was announced earlier this year.

Sticks will join the Sonic Boom team alongside Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Amy. She will appear in the Sonic Boom television series, Wii U and Nintendo 3DS video games, and merchandise.

Sticks is a jungle badger who has spent most of her life living alone in the wilderness and wields her trusty handmade boomerang. She is wilder than the other members of the team, exhibiting animal instincts, sharp survival skills, and fearsome combativeness. These skills will play a pivotal role through the new Sonic Boom content as Sticks tries to adapt to civilization and become close to her new friends. [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: Bath Time Is Play Time in My House

I’m a lucky mom (for many reasons), but in the context of this post I’m lucky because my kids love taking baths. It’s one less thing to fight about. However, the reason they don’t mind cleaning up is that it’s fun. It’s not the getting clean part they enjoy (Lena has tried to make me forget about that portion of the experience many times), but the playing. Entertaining a 4-year-old in the tub is very different from distracting an 8-month-old, but bath toys have come a long way since I was a kid (plastic cup and Dawn dish soap, anyone?), and I’ve got a whole array of toys to get the job done. [Read more...]

TOMY Launches Megabuild Junction For Kids to Show Off Cool Combos

MegabuildJunctionWith Megabuild Junction, TOMY provides a new resource for showcasing layouts, providing building instructions, and inspiring fans to explore ways to combine their Chuggington StackTrack playsets and track pieces.

At Megabuild Junction, users can find helpful suggestions and tricks courtesy of Chuggington’s toy team experts. Through photos and videos, they can also see what TOMY’s designers and other families have created, as well as share photos of their own builds, which will be posted on TOMY’s Facebook page. Users are also invited to join conversations taking place in social media.

Sega Kicks Off New Era of Toys and Games with a Sonic Boom

SonicBoomlogoSega will launch a new branch of its Sonic the Hedgehog universe entitled Sonic Boom, which will be accompanied by a CG animated TV series, video games for the Nintendo Wii U and 3DS, new toys from Tomy, and more. To date, the character has appeared in more than 70 video game titles across a span of more than 20 years.

During a press event this past Thursday in New York City, the upcoming TV series was introduced as a character-driven comedy featuring lots of action and adventure. It consists of 52 11-minute episodes, and will debut in both the U.S. and France during the 2014 to 2015 season. “What we try to do is take the character and put them in situations where their personalities take center stage, and take us in interesting directions,” said showrunner and executive producer Evan Baily. [Read more...]

Hasbro Launches New B-Daman Toys and App

B-DamanCrossFirePosterHasbro Inc. is expanding on the animated series, B-Daman Crossfire by bringing the series to the physical and digital play space with a new B-Daman toy line and app. The new animated series, B-Daman Crossfire, will air during Saban Brands’ Vortexx on The CW, the Saturday morning programming block beginning August 17. Hasbro is working under license from newly established, Manhattan-based rights management company Sunrights Inc., and with a development and manufacturing collaboration with Tomy on these products.

The new series, B-Daman Crossfire, takes place in East City, where the newest toy, B-Daman, has become all the rage. The series follows Riki Ryugaski, a quirky schoolboy with an appetite for adventure and mystery. After attending his first B-Daman tournament with friend and classmate Sumi Inaba, Riki develops a strong interest in the toy. Upon hearing a rumor about a secret B-Daman tournament that only a select few can participate in, Riki’s curiosity grows and he becomes determined to learn more.

With the launch of the new B-Daman toys from Hasbro, kids can choose which figures’ personality and fighting style best represents themselves in the B-Daman marble battles. Whether players want to enhance their rapid-fire, power, or precision skills in solo play against B-Daman targets or advance to competition levels with fellow battlers in engaging arenas, B-Daman play allows kids to create their own set of rules and games.

In addition, the new B-Daman line of toys will offer kids the opportunity to connect the physical figures with a digital experience. Players will be able to scan any B-Daman figure via the B-Daman app (available now for Android & Apple devices) on their mobile devices. The app recognizes the toy and allows the user to choose a figure for a digital experience. Kids can also manually enter their toys into the app by using a 14 digit numerical code found on cards included with each toy. bdamanstrikeAdditionally, the codes can be used online to unlock virtual B-Daman figures and gain access to exclusive digital content on the B-Daman Battles website. The B-Daman experience allows kids, both in the physical and digital world, to battle opponents from around the globe anywhere at any time.

The products include the B-Daman Figure, B-Daman Figure with Accessory, B-Daman Break Bomber Battlefield Arena, B-Daman Surge Strike Arena, and B-Daman Vertigo Spin Arena, which are available at most toy retailers and on HasbroToyShop.com.

Amtrak and The Jim Henson Co. Partner for Pajanimals Sweepstakes

Pajanimals_3Amtrak and The Jim Henson Co. have joined for the Pajanimals Pack Your Pajamas Sweepstakes. The new promotion and the company’s ongoing partnership with Amtrak were announced by Melissa Segal, executive vice president of global consumer products for The Jim Henson Co.

Families can enter the Pajanimals Pack Your Pajamas Sweepstakes now through July 31 by logging onto www.henson.com/PJsweepstakes and following the sweepstakes entry directions. The sweepstakes will award one grand prize of four round-trip coach tickets on Amtrak, a Flip video camera, and a four-piece large plush set of Pajanimals from Tomy. Five first prize winners will receive HeysUSA Amtrak luggage and a Pajanimals Adventure Game, from Briarpatch. Ten second prize winners will receive an Amtrak-branded hoodie and the Pajanimals Playdate DVD from NCircle Entertainment.

Amtrak will promote the Pajanimals Pack Your Pajamas Sweepstakes and entry details through counter cards and seatbacks in more than 100 Amtrak stations nationwide. Amtrak will also distribute free Pajanimals-themed activity booklets to young travelers and Pajanimals will be featured on placemats for use in Amtrak’s dining cars.

COMMENTARY: Preparing for Baby, Part 2

Preparing for baby’s arrival can be overwhelming, but shopping for adorable new things is just fun. Especially when those new things include sweet new toys! I am particular to Lamaze’s toy line for infants, because they incorporate developmental features designed to engage a baby’s senses through various forms of play. Some of my daughter’s favorite items as an infant were Lamaze products. It doesn’t hurt that they’re just so darn cute and colorful.

Franky the Hanky WhaleTwo of my favorite new Lamaze toys are Franky the Hanky Whale and Push Along Peanut. I fell in love with Franky when I spied him in Tomy’s booth at Toy Fair in February, and knew I had to have him for my son. Designed for 9 months and up, Franky helps develop baby’s motor skills via put in-take out play. A number of colorful, soft handkerchiefs can be placed into the top of Franky’s head, and come out his mouth. A variety of textures with ribbon loops and crackly tail and fins keep baby engaged.

Lamaze PeanutPush Along Peanut also helps develop motor skills for 9 months and up. This elephant on four wheels gets baby moving as he pushes and pulls it along. The high contrast colors and a variety of textures (and a squeaker inside) keep baby coming back for more.

Cloud b’s Bubbly Bunny is a super sweet toy that goes from day to night, great for travel and trips to Grandma’s house or just as a special friend to keep at home. It can be used to soothe infants, but I could see this remaining a must-have through toddlerhood. It bubblybunnyplays four comforting sounds: friendly giggles, soothing winds, a relaxing lullaby, and calming ocean waves, that can be activated with push-buttons and includes a volume control feature. It also has two sleep timer options (23 minutes and 45 minutes) and is super soft to the touch.

Another item I was recently introduced to is the Comfy Cradle Slip-On Pillow. I’d never seen comfycradlepillowanything like this before, and it’s a really great idea. At first glance it sort of looks like a water wing (you know, those inflatable things kids wear on each arm in the pool to help them stay afloat?), but it’s basically a super soft pillow that you wear comfycradleactionon your arm while feeding your baby. It’s recommended for up to 12 months. It’s brilliant because you can get up and move around, switch seats, answer the phone, or reach for the TV remote (come on, like you never catch up on a show while feeding your baby), without disturbing baby’s comfort. It offers gentle support to baby’s head and neck while feeding, and is machine washable. It can be adjusted with a Velcro strip, and then once you have it the way you like it, you can just slip it on and off each time you use it.

Check back regularly for more baby product reviews from Jackie. 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!