Sweet Suite 2016

Toys “R” Us Inc. Lowers Free Shipping Minimum to $19 for Purchases

toysrusStarting today, Toys “R” Us Inc. will lower the free shipping minimum required for online orders at toysrus.com and babiesrus.com from $49 to $19. The new free shipping threshold is the lowest the company has offered in recent history (though surcharges may apply on large and heavy items).

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Revell Releases Snap-Together Vehicle Models Inspired by Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Revell Millennium FalconRevell has released an assortment of snap-together, interactive model kits inspired by Star Wars: The Force Awakens, aimed at ages 6 and up. The first four kits consist of replicas of the Millennium Falcon, Poe’s X-Wing Fighter, the Resistance X-Wing Fighter, and the First Order Special Forces Tie Fighter.

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The Force Will Be Strong at Toys “R” Us Times Square on September 4

Star Wars Millennium Falcon Spaceship from Kenner (1979)

Star Wars Millennium Falcon Spaceship from Kenner (1979), on display as part of Destination: Star Wars—The Experience

When the clock strikes 12:01 a.m. on September 4, all Toys “R” Us stores in the U.S. will open their doors, giving customers the opportunity to purchase hundreds of new Star Wars playthings, including a wide variety of merchandise not available anywhere else.

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DuneCraft Adds Character to Homes with Character Mini Domes

DuneCraft, CharacterMiniDomes1DuneCraft has introduced its new Character Mini Domes, which consist of character-themed gardens, such as Franki Fly Trap and Robert Radish. Each kit includes the dome top and bottom, soil, seeds, gravel, and instructions.

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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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