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!


Tomy Spring 2013 Pokémon Toy Sweepstakes Now Available

The Tomy Spring 2013 Pokémon Toy Sweepstakes is now available on Facebook.

Log on between May 20 and June 3, submit a complete official entry at the tab found at, and you may win one of the 76 prizes available. By submitting an entry and liking the Tomy Facebook fan page, you are automatically entered into this contest. One grand prize winner will receive 14 products from the Spring 2013 Tomy Pokémon product line worth approximately $200.

The first place prize is a Pokémon Center Play ‘n Store Case and 20 2-inch Pokémon figures. Second place prize is a Pokédex Trainer Kit. Tomy can also offer a giveaway of some 7-inch figures.

Tomy Sets Guinness World Record for Tallest Toy Train Track


Tomy, the maker of the Chuggington StackTrack Railway System, set a Guinness World Records title for Tallest Toy Train Track on Saturday. The record-setting train track, constructed with Chuggington StackTrack—a durable die-cast railway system that enables kids to build vertical toy train layouts—towered 17 feet 4 inches tall. In order to set the Guinness World Records title for World’s Tallest Toy Train Track, Tomy Master Builder Jason Moreno and his helpers needed to construct a layout utilizing the Chuggington StackTrack die-cast railway track that met or exceeded 9 feet 8 inches in height, and a commercially available Chuggington StackTrack die-cast railway train had to travel from the top of the track all the way down to the bottom. Hundreds of kids and their families watched in anticipation and were delighted as the engine completed its journey down the spiraling StackTrack tower.

Moreno constructed the larger-than-life toy train layout as part of the Grand Centennial Parade of Trains in Vanderbilt Hall in New York City’s Grand Central Terminal. The building began at 8:00 a.m. and was completed at 1:00 p.m., in time for the Guinness World Records adjudicator to authenticate the record-setting event and present the certificate to a delighted Tomy crew.

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Tomy Launches Pajanimals Toy Line in Time for the Holiday Season

Just in time for the upcoming holiday season, a new line of toys from Tomy, based on Pajanimals, is now available at retail and online. A co-production with The Jim Henson Company, Sprout, and Sixteen South Television, the television series airs daily on Sprout during The Good Night Show and on Saturday morning on NBC. [Read more...]

Tomy International and The Pokemon Company International Sign Multi-Year Global Licensing Agreement

Tomy International and The Pokemon Company International signed a multi-year global master toy agreement, giving Tomy the exclusive toy license outside of Asia. Beginning next year, Tomy will be the exclusive licensee and distributor for categories including figures, figure accessories, and plush. This agreement makes Tomy Group the unified global toy partner for the Pokemon brand, one of the world’s leading kids entertainment franchises.

Tomy International will be the first to market with themed toys based on the highly-anticipated video game sequels, Pokemon Black 2 and Pokemon White 2.

Tomy Kicks Off Donation Program with Autism Speaks

Tomy partners up with Autism Speaks to donate 500 Chuggington Wooden Railway play tables and train sets to preschools that serve children with autism. Tomy hopes to complete the donation program by next spring. The $250,000 program incorporates the playsets in daily lessons and treatment plans in classrooms throughout preschools nationwide.

Check out the Chuggington Wooden Railway below.

New Chuggington Die-Cast Track System Takes Train Play to New Heights

Tomy has launched its Chuggington Die-Cast Railway, featuring a revolutionary track system that lets toy train enthusiasts stack their track “as high as the sky.” Budding engineers can build spiraling track layouts with this innovative track system engineered for stability and durability. Every action-packed playset in the Chuggington Die-Cast Railway can be built multiple ways, encouraging young imaginations to create, construct, and play.

Based on Ludorum’s popular animated series and inspired by Chuggington’s modern characters and fast-paced adventures, Tomy’s Chuggington Die-Cast Railway allows fans to spend countless imaginative hours with a whole new play experience. Easy to connect and simple enough for preschoolers to build on their own, the new track system is a durable and sturdy solution for adding elevation to train sets and creating amazing action. Chuggington Die-Cast Railway is available at all major retailers.

Featured sets available at launch include:

  • Chuggington Die-Cast Railway Wilson’s Wild Ride Playset  The new track design featured in this playset allows little conductors to build a spiral more than 2 feet tall. Pull the lever when Wilson enters the storm machine to activate storm sounds and to launch Wilson. Wilson shoots down the 360-degree spiral, past the spinning sign, past the popping cones, and onto the turntable, where he whips around 720 degrees.  Set can create four different track layouts and is designed for children ages 3 and up.
  • Chuggington Die-Cast Railway Portable Double Decker Roundhouse Playset  This iconic Chuggington locale is a must-have. The Roundhouse does double duty as a portable engine storage case. When little conductors are ready to play, just connect the turntable and snap in the track. This destination also features an innovative elevating turntable that raises and spins. Includes a Die-Cast Brewster engine and was designed for children ages 3 and up.
  • Chuggington Die-Cast Railway Stunt Brewster Playset  Inspired by the episode Stunt Brewster, this action packed starter set features Brewster.  Brewster flies down the hill, crashes through the lights, soars over the jump, and rides through the tunnel. The track can also be transformed into a traditional oval layout.
  • Chuggington Die-Cast Railway Koko’s Old Town Tour Playset  Enter through the arch to tour Old Town. Go up the hill and over the turntable. Also includes the steam whistle gate and Old Town Koko. Set can create three different layouts.
  • Chuggington Die-Cast Railway Koko’s Icy Escapade Playset  Inspired by the episode Wilson’s Icy Escapade, this action playset features icy Koko and the Ice Cave. Koko has to be careful going across the rickety bridge with the ice cargo.  Pick up the ice in the cargo car, crash through the ice gates, and deliver the cargo to the top. Set can create three different layouts.
  • Chuggington Die-Cast Railway Brewster’s Big City Adventure Playset  Help Brewster pick up his delivery.  Oh no!  Brewster is stuck!  Don’t worry, Action Chugger will rescue him. Action Chugger flies down from the sky, jumps onto the track, and speeds down the collapsing bridge to rescue Brewster.  Includes scrap metal Brewster with cargo car and lights and sounds Action Chugger. Set can create seven different layouts.

This post was originally written by Sierra McCleary-Harris and published by For more news, visit, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.

All Aboard: Amtrak, The Jim Henson Company Join Forces for Big Big Dinosaur Train Sweepstakes

All aboard the Big Big Dinosaur Sweepstakes, the new national summer promotion for the animated preschool series Dinosaur Train, which airs daily on PBS Kids. The Jim Henson Company, producers of the series, have joined forces with Amtrak for a second year to present a fun and engaging summertime promotion that will award one family with an Amtrak vacation.

Amtrak launches the Big Big Dinosaur Sweepstakes in August. Families can enter the sweepstakes by logging onto and following the entry directions for a chance to win a vacation to Chicago and Washington, District of Columbia, where they’ll have the opportunity to visit the National Museum of Natural History with exhibits featuring dinosaurs.

As part of the national summer promotion, Amtrak will distribute more than 65,000 free Dinosaur Train themed activity booklets to young travelers and 1 million Amtrak Dinosaur Train ticket jackets to passengers, as well as 20,000 placemats for use in Amtrak’s dining cars. Sweepstakes details will be posted on the websites of Amtrak, The Jim Henson Company, and Tomy. Tomy is the master toy licensee for Dinosaur Train in the U.S.

This post was originally written by Sierra McCleary-Harris and published by For more news, visit, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.

Lineup of Licensees for Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Warner Bros. Consumer Products has announced that the last installment of the best-selling Harry Potter film franchise, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2, will be ushered in with a wide array of merchandising products for fans of all ages. The movie hits theaters nationwide Friday.

Lego has released a variety of play sets that feature locations and scenes from the films, including Hogwarts, The Forbidden Forest, and the Knight Bus. The Noble Collection will offer intricately crafted wands and other artifacts replicated from the series. Additional global licensees include NECA, Tomy, Panini, DeAgostini, Hasbro, Rubie’s Costume Co., Artbox Entertainment, Gentle Giant, Bioworld Merchandising Inc., Hallmark, Mead, Tonner Doll, and Jelly Belly Candy Company, which will re-release its 20-flavor collection of Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavour Beans. The new products can be found at retailers nationwide and online at

Tomy to Release Japanese Car and Train Line in North America

Tomy Corporation will be introducing Japanese die-cast car and train line Tomica in North America this September. The line, which has been available in Japan for 40 years, will be available first through a select national retailer.

Seven die cast cars, three train sets, six accessory sets, six destination sets, and five deluxe play sets will be released in the initial launch. All elements of the line can be merged to create the Tomica Hypercity. The launch includes cars licensed by Toyota, Nissan, and Suzuki.