Aterian Acquires Backyard Discovery

BackyardDiscoveryA private equity firm, Aterian Investment Partners, announced today that one of its affiliates has acquired Backyard Discovery, a designer, manufacturer, distributor, and installer of play sets in North America. Founded in 1968 and headquartered in Pittsburg, Kan., Aterian designs and manufactures swing sets, playhouses, patio products, and more under brands such as Backyard Adventures and Leisure Time Products.

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COMMENTARY: In the Doll Category, Diversity Is Finding Common Ground

Journey Girls2Dolls are getting more diverse all the time, and that diversity extends beyond ethnicity. Peek online or at your local toy store, and you’ll see that the doll aisle offers a wider variety than ever before, including boy dolls, ones featuring characters with interests in science and computers, and models depicting disabilities. Truly, we are living in a Golden Age of doll play, given how many niches are represented. And that’s leading to something pretty interesting: that the different niches themselves are starting to blur together.

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Toys “R” Us Partners with Save the Children to Promote Disaster Preparedness

Toys-R-Us-Logo copyWith this month marking the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Toys “R” Us is once again partnering with Save the Children to promote disaster preparedness and offer customers an opportunity to help families across the country in times of crisis. Toys “R” Us stores nationwide are offering an exclusive reusable tote bag featuring a young child’s artwork, from which $1 from the purchase of each bag benefits Save the Children’s Domestic Emergency Fund, which provides a safe environment for children and families when disasters strike.

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The Lowdown on Doll Hunting: Doll Collecting in the Age of Social Media

This article first appeared in the July/August 2015 issue of The Toy Book.

MelissaHunterHeadShotDoll collecting may be as old as the industry itself, but the newest generation of collectors is armed with video cameras, vlogs, and thousands of YouTube subscribers. They call themselves doll hunters.

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TIA’s Fall Toy Preview to Remain at Dallas Market Center through 2018

TIA LogoThe Toy Industry Association (TIA) Executive Committee and Board have announced that Fall Toy Preview will stay in Dallas through 2018. The event is scheduled to take place on the following dates: September 27 to 29, 2016; September 26 to 28, 2017; and September 25 to 27, 2018.

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Stikbot, from Zing, Uses App to Create, Animate, and Share Stop-Motion Videos

Zing Toy StikbotZing has launched Stikbot, which features a poseable figure with suction cup hands and feet that adhere to almost any flat surface. A free mobile app available on iOS and Android, StikBot Studio, allows users to snap individual photos and stitch them together into a stop-motion film.

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Toys “R” Us Raises Nearly $2.2 Million to Benefit ALSF

Babies R UsToys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us raised nearly $2.2 million in in-store and online customer donations during the fifth annual nationwide fundraising and awareness campaign benefiting Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF). Established in 2005, ALSF offers support to children affected by cancer worldwide, and to date has raised more than $100 million.

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Toys “R” Us and Nick Lachey Team Up for Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids

TRU Toy GuideToys “R” Us has released the 2015 Toys “R” Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids, a toy selection resource for those shopping for children with special needs. Available now at Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us stores nationwide and online, the guide showcases specially selected toys that aid in the skill development of children who have physical, cognitive, or developmental disabilities.

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Moose Toys Invites Shopkins Fans to Gather at Toys “R” Us Stores Nationwide

56031 Shopkins S3 12PkMoose Toys is hosting its first-ever nationwide Shopkins Swap-kins experience, scheduled for August 15 from 12 to 2 p.m. Fans and collectors across the country can gather at their local Toys “R” Us store to swap characters and build their collections.

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Toys “R” Us to Debut Toys Based on DreamWorks Animation’s Dinotrux

Dinotrux LogoBeginning on October 1, Toys “R” Us stores nationwide and toysrus.com will begin carrying playsets, vehicles, and more based on DreamWorks Animation‘s upcoming Netflix original series, Dinotrux. The initial line, from Mattel, will feature Ty Rux, Revvit, and other Dinotrux characters, and select items will be available for pre-order online beginning August 14.

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