University Games Launches Annual National Young Game Inventors Contest

NYGIC_SplashPageUniversity Games has invited young game inventors with original board game ideas to participate in the 22nd annual National Young Game Inventors Contest for a chance to have their game manufactured and included in the University Games lineup next year. Additional prizes include a family vacation to San Francisco, Calif. (includes four nights lodging and airfare for up to two adults and one child), a $10,000 savings bond for college, and a complete library of board games from University Games.

Entries are now being accepted for the contest, which is open to kids ages 5 to 12, and sponsored by Toys “R” Us and Scholastic Parent & Child magazine. Complete rules and entry forms can be found at www.nygic.org.

Since the National Young Game Inventors Contest was launched in 1993, it has encouraged thousands of young children to stretch their imaginations and develop board games such as Munch Math, Rapunzel’s Revenge, Rhyme Time, and more.

Toys “R” Us Inc. Names Michael J. Short Chief Financial Officer

Toys “R” Us Inc. has named Michael J. Short executive vice president and chief financial officer, Toys “R” Us Inc., effective June 23. Short was most recently executive vice president and chief financial officer of AutoNation for seven years. He will serve as a member of the company’s global executive committee and report to Antonio Urcelay, chairman of the board and chief executive officer, Toys “R” Us Inc.

Prior to his role at AutoNation, Short was executive vice president and chief financial officer of Universal Orlando, where he served in a variety of finance roles earlier in his career.

BREAKING NEWS: Lego Combines Digital and Physical Play with Lego Fusion

Lego Fusion Town MasterLego Systems Inc. has unveiled Lego Fusion, a play experience that combines traditional Lego brick play with app-based mobile games for kids ages 7 and up. The Fusion collection will include four: Lego Fusion Town Master, Lego Fusion Battle Towers, Lego Fusion Create & Race, and Lego Fusion Resort Designer, featuring Lego Friends characters and themes.

Each Lego Fusion kit consists of a distinct set of Lego bricks, a corresponding free downloadable app, and a unique Fusion capture plate, which is a small brick-building plate featuring a printed design that enables a smartphone or tablet’s camera to identify the size, colors, and layout of the Lego bricks built onto the plate. The apps will prompt kids to build a 2-D façade of a building onto the capture plate any way they like. Then, kids can import the façade into the app and transform the creation into a full 3-D building on screen. Once a Lego brick creation has been imported into the game, a series of challenges and interactions will require kids to turn away from the screen and build another façade with their Lego bricks to progress in the game. Each game encourages this back-and-forth between physical and virtual worlds.

[Read more...]

Goodbaby Acquires Evenflo, Deal Will Keep Jobs in Ohio

The Evenflo Co. has signed an agreement to be acquired by Goodbaby International Holdings Limited. Goodbaby is principally engaged in the design, research and development, manufacturing, marketing, and sale of durable juvenile products. The agreement is definitive and binding pending Goodbaby shareholder approval, which should take place within 45 days.

Evenflo principally engages in the design, research and development, manufacturing, marketing, and sale of Evenflo, Exersaucer, and Snugli branded juvenile products. Its portfolio includes play yards and stationary activity centers to go with car seats, travel systems, safety gates, high chairs, and more. Evenflo brands are sold at key retailers such as Wal-Mart, Toys “R” Us, Target, and Amazon. [Read more...]

Toys “R” Us Encourages Customers to #Stir4ACure to Benefit Alex’s Lemonade Stand

Toys'R'Us Alex's Lemonade Stand FoundationToys “R” Us Inc. has reaffirmed its support of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a cure for childhood cancer. Beginning June 1 through July 31, monetary donations will be collected at all Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us stores nationwide, and online at toysrus.com/alexslemonade. To celebrate its fourth consecutive year of partnership with ALSF, Toys “R” Us is debuting a new campaign theme and consumer engagement initiative, #Stir4ACure, which invites social media users to spread awareness for the charity by sharing who or what they stir for–whether it’s a cure, a family member, or all children fighting cancer. By joining the effort, participants show support for the cause and for Alexandra “Alex” Scott, the inspiration behind ALSF who “stirred for a cure” for all kids like her before losing her life to cancer at the age of 8. [Read more...]

Mega Brands, Mattel Donate Over $70,000 to Autism Speaks Canada

DonationMegaMega Brands Inc. has donated $72,000 to Autism Speaks Canada in support of Autism Awareness Month. The donation was presented at the 2014 Walk Now for Autism Speaks event in Montreal, which helps fund autism treatment, education, research, and advocacy throughout the country. Mega Brands was also the local presenting sponsor of the event.

The money was raised during April when Mega Brands pledged to donate one dollar for every Mega Bloks toy sold by Toys “R” Us Canada both in stores and online. This generated over $20,000 in proceeds. Philanthropic donors also contributed $29,000 to the pledge amount.

Mega Brands employees raised an additional $10,000 in donations through bake sales and auctions, an amount that was matched by Mattel.

Toys “R” Us Introduces Reusable Tote Bag to Benefit Save the Children

ToysRUs.TotebagToys “R” Us has introduced an exclusive, 100-percent recyclable, reusable tote bag featuring a young child’s artwork at its stores. One dollar from the purchase of each bag will be donated directly to Save the Children‘s Domestic Emergency Fund, a global humanitarian organization that ensures the urgent needs of children are met during a crisis.

Toys “R” Us and Save the Children have also compiled disaster planning tips and checklists on the company’s dedicated safety site, www.toysrusinc.com/safety, where families can learn more about fundamental supplies for emergency kits, determining a safe location if loved ones are separated, and how to develop a communication strategy. Customers can also visit www.toysrus.com/savethechildren to view an official registry of products, including toys and games, which can be purchased and sent directly to Save the Children to be used for kids during times of crisis. Diapers, wipes, hygiene items, and other basic supplies can also be purchased from this registry.

Skylanders Has Soccer Fever, and the Prescription is Kickoff Countdown

SkylandersSWAPForce.KickoffCountdownThe newest Skylanders Swap Force team member is soccer-themed. Kickoff Countdown will premiere exclusively at Toys “R” Us stores nationwide, and online at toysrus.com, this Sunday, and will be available at retailers worldwide on May 25. Featuring the head of a soccer ball, Kickoff Countdown is the only Skylander that appears in both toys and the game.

Mobo Cruiser Line Expands with New Disney-Themed Rides

MoboTotDisneyPlanesAsa Products has an exciting line-up of Mobo Cruisers, featuring characters from Disney-Pixar Cars and Disney’s Planes. Both the new Mobo Tot: Disney-Pixar Cars Lightning McQueen and Disney’s Planes Dusty cruisers are slated for release this summer, around the same time as the new animated film, Planes: Fire & Rescue.

Both adjustable three-wheelers are ergonomically designed for toddlers ages 2 to 5, and available at www.toysrus.com, as well as select Toys “R” Us stores.

Spin Master Launches Paw Patrol Toy Line Exclusively at Toys “R” Us

PawPatrolPaw Patrol is headed to Toys “R” Us stores nationwide and online at toysrus.com on May 18. Developed by Spin Master Ltd., Paw Patrol is the No. 1 rated preschool series and airs weekdays on Nickelodeon. Throughout June, Toys “R” Us will be the only retailer to offer the new preschool line of plush, vehicles, figures, and more based on the TV show.

The new product range includes a number of collectible items for kids ages 3 and up.

The Action Pack Pup with Badge figure comes with a push-button transforming backpack and a kid-sized, snap-on role-play badge.

Paw Patrol Racers each include a pup or a figure molded inside that hero’s signature vehicle. [Read more...]