GoldieBlox Introduces GoldieBlox and the Parade Float

GoldieBlox.ParadeFloatThere’s a new addition to the GoldieBlox toy collection: GoldieBlox and the Parade Float, available now for pre-order at GoldieBlox.com for delivery by December 1, and rolling into Toys “R” Us stores nationwide this holiday season. Encouraging the growth of a female presence in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, founder Debbie Sterling and GoldieBlox aim to introduce girls to the fun of building combined with the age-old pastime of storytelling, by offering an engineering role model who is smart, curious, and accessible.

The new main set, GoldieBlox and the Parade Float, features nine design ideas as well as a do-it-yourself project, and is compatible with all other Goldie Blox toys. Meanwhile, the new Blox + Bits Expansion Pack includes rods, blocks, and other extra pieces that fit both the original GoldieBlox and The Spinning Machine and GoldieBlox and The Parade Float sets, and allow kids to create even larger projects.

In addition, GoldieBlox has launched an online play gallery with stop-motion how-to videos starring little girl inventors. Fans can submit their own videos to be featured on GoldieBlox.com and the GoldieBlox YouTube channel.

Toys “R” Us Appoints CEO; Names President of U.S. Business

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Toys “R” Us Inc. has named two seasoned executives with deep international and domestic retail expertise to lead the global franchise and its domestic business. Antonio Urcelay has been named CEO, Toys “R” Us Inc., effective immediately, after serving as the company’s interim CEO since May. Hank Mullany, an experienced retail executive with a strong background in operations, finance, customer service, and strategic planning, has been named president, Toys “R” Us, U.S., effective November 5.

Urcelay, 61, a respected global retail leader, joined Toys “R” Us in 1996. Over the course of his tenure with the organization, he has held roles of increasing responsibility. He will continue to provide worldwide leadership in driving key strategies and growth initiatives in the company’s more than 1,500 stores in 36 countries and jurisdictions worldwide. Known for building strong teams, implementing best practices across the organization and focusing intently on customer service, Urcelay has been instrumental in creating strategies to drive growth in global markets by placing an emphasis on thinking locally. Prior to joining Toys “R” Us, Urcelay spent the majority of his career working in the retail and consumer packaged goods industries, including Spanish dairy company Leche Pascual, Dutch supermarket chain Royal Ahold, and the Spanish subsidiary of Procter & Gamble.

Mullany, 55, has an established track record of developing and executing strategies, revitalizing underperforming businesses, and consistently delivering results. He previously served as CEO of The ServiceMaster Co., one of the world’s largest residential and commercial service businesses, and prior to that, was executive vice president of Walmart U.S. and president of Walmart’s northern business, with operational responsibility for more than $90 billion in revenue, more than 400,000 associates in 1,300 stores and 28 distribution centers in 19 states. In his new position at Toys “R” Us, Mullany will oversee all merchandising, marketing, e-commerce, and store operations responsibilities for the 878 U.S. store division. He will report to Urcelay.

Playrific Introduces Kid-Safe App for the New Tabeo e2 Kids’ Tablet

Oct10.PlayrificPlayrific has announced that its Play & Learn app will be available on the Tabeo e2 kids tablet from Toys “R” Us. The device, which will be available exclusively at Toys “R” Us stores nationwide later in October, and is available now for pre-order online at tabeo.com, will come preloaded with the app. The Playrific app is packed with videos, games, interactive books, songs, drawing, coloring apps, and more.

Playrific offers a new approach to Internet safety by presenting kids with a wide range of pre-screened content that is designed to encourage exploration.

Toys “R” Us Introduces Exclusive Monster 500 Line

Toys “R” Us will release Monster 500, an exclusive line that features 10 characters as well as two play sets. The characters are racing for one of five teams in the speed competition Monster 500, and each character will be sold as a small, 3-inch die-cast vehicle. Customers can also collect select large character feature vehicles standing 4 inches high and 5 inches long.

The characters of the Monster 500 line will be released in two Invasions. Invasion One includes Zoom Zombie (Team: The Driving Dead), Lead Foot (Team: Lunatic Legends), Flattop Frank (Team: The Experi-Mentals), Evil Clownevil (Team: Freak Force), and CrocPot (Team: Animal Asylum). Invasion Two features Drac Attack (Team: The Driving Dead), Captain Heinous from Uranus (Team: Lunatic Legends), Dr. Jerkyl and Mr. Ride (Team: The Experi-Mentals), Turbo Chainsaw Massacre (Team: Freak Force), and Werewolf Blitzer (Team: Animal Asylum). The assortment also includes the Monster 500 Graveyard Gauntlet Track Set and the Monster 500 Toxic Terror Trap Playset.

Monster 500 toys are now available for presale at toysrus.com and will begin selling in stores nationwide on October 15. The company plans to expand the Monster 500 assortment with additional characters and new products, including the introduction of Invasion Three and Invasion Four next spring. Also, the Monster 500 app will be available for Android and iOS October 15 when the toys hit shelves. The app allows fans to bring their monster characters to life in a racing game. Each Monster 500 vehicle and play set comes with a trading card that can be used to unlock each character’s digital counterpart.

Amav Introduces Sweet Art

image002Kids can now make their art, and eat it too, with Amav’s Sweet Art. The soft dough modeling kits allow children to make and decorate their own unique creations using rolling utensils and other crafting tools designed for small hands. The sugar dough is safe to eat (FDA-approved) and comes in several colors and flavors like strawberry, lemon, and chocolate.

The Ice Cream Maker allows kids to create their own Sweet Art ice cream shop complete with a serving station, and the Party Pack comes with an array of shaping utensils ideal for birthdays and family get-togethers. Other smaller kits feature themes such as animals, popsicles, and other treats. Intended for kids ages 6 an up, this new edible toy can be purchased at Toys “R” Us, amazon.com, Bed Bath and Beyond, and Kmart.

Swaptober Kicks into Gear in Anticipation of Skylanders Swap Force

Skylanders-SWAP-Force_NightIn anticipation of the Skylanders Swap Force launch, Activision Publishing Inc. is using the month of October, or “Swaptober” to get gamers ready for the game’s launch on October 13. Lucky Portal Masters will have chances to win copies of the Skylanders Swap Force game, explore the world of Skylanders in Times Square, and more during the month-long activities.

To kick off Swaptober, Activision will be giving away one Skylanders Swap Force Starter Pack per day beginning October 1 and going to October 31 via the official Skylanders Twitter channel (@SkylandersGame). For a chance to win, portal masters can visit Skylanders.com to mix and match their favorite character combination and then tweet it along with a suggested catch phrase using hashtags #SWAPtober and #Skylanders.

There are even more ways to celebrate on  October 10, when Skylanders partners with Toys “R” Us to bring Skylanders to life with “Swaptoberfest”—a celebration in Times Square where fans will have the chance to be among the very first to play the game before it’s available at retail. This Times Square takeover will feature Skylanders Swap Force-themed activities, photos with Skylanders costumed characters, and chances to win Starter Packs and Skylanders-themed merchandise from companies, including Mega Brands, Rubie’s Costume Co., Hybrid Apparel, and Power A. [Read more...]

Yvolution Introduces Revolutionary Y Fliker Carver Performance Series

y fliker carverLast year Yvolution introduced its innovative Y Fliker Flow Series of self-propelling three-wheeled scooters, changing the way kids scoot. This year, Yvolution unveils its new Y Fliker Carver Series of performance scooters with a sleek design featuring patented Flex technology. For a more extreme ride, kids can now carve, drift, and turn 360 degrees with enhanced stability and control that allows riders to turn on a dime.

Y Fliker Carver scooters are available in two sizes so both toddlers and teens can experience ‘Life through Motion’ in and fun and safe way. The series uses the same motions of downhill skiing so riders only need to move their hips and legs from side to side to get going and keep moving. By incorporating the new Flex technology, kids have the ability to accelerate faster, maintain balance at greater speeds, and make sharper turns. With two models for kids ages 5 and up and 7 and up, parents can be assured their child is safe with features such as padded handgrips, footplates with superior grip, and a quick-response hand brake. Y Fliker Carver scooters can be purchased at Toys “R” Us stores nationwide and online at Toysrus.com/Yvolution beginning October 1.

Zuru Creates Creepeez Wall Crawlers Toy Line with Marvel Super Heroes

imagesInnovative toymaker Zuru has announced that it will be creating Creepeez wall crawlers featuring Marvel’s characters from both Spider-Man and The Avengers. The official, Marvel Creepeez hit stores this month at Toys “R” Us and Dollar General stores across the country.

The line will feature fan favorites, including The Hulk, Iron Man, and Captain America, all with creepy sticky feet and the ability to tumble down walls while performing stunts or racing against one another.

Toys “R” Us 2013 Holiday Strategy Highlights Education, Tablets, and More

toysrusToys “R” Us Inc. will enhance product categories that have experienced sales growth over the past few years, such as education, tablets, and construction, as part of their 2013 holiday strategy.

This season, a dedicated Imaginarium shop will set in-store, and each store will have a whole aisle dedicated to new educational products, such as microscopes and telescopes from Edu Science and language-learning programs from Little Pim. Meanwhile, capitalizing on the growing construction category, the company will install a “Shop within a Store” in approximately 300 locations, showcasing construction brands such as Lego and Mega Bloks. The company will also feature approximately 70 Lego exclusives this holiday season, including Legends of Chima The Croc Swap Hideout and Star Wars Jedi Defender Class Cruiser.

After experiencing increases in sales of tablets and tablet accessories, Toys “R” Us will add easy-to-navigate 32-foot shops that will showcase 25 tablets that can be tested and engaged with by kids and parents. These shops are expected to set in the majority of Toys “R” Us locations by October. The company also has exclusive tablet products, such as the Kurio 10s by Techno Source and its recently announced tabeo e2, and will be launching a dedicated online tablet guide.

Finally, online shoppers can now place a “Buy Online, Pickup In Store,” order on toysrus.com and it will be ready for pickup in under an hour, and “Ship to Store” orders will now be available for pickup in five to 10 days. Later this fall, stores will be equipped with a secondary in-store pickup location, and “Ready for Pickup” emails that are sent to customers once their order is available will include a map of where the pickup location is positioned within the store.

Toys “R” Us Announces New tabeo e2

849623 Tabeo 2 Blue FrontToys “R” Us has announced that next month it will debut tabeo e2, the next generation of its Wi-Fi Android tablet for kids that launched during the last holiday season. Designed by the kids authority, the upgraded, 8-inch, multi-touch screen tablet is bigger and faster than the original tabeo and still provides content that kids love and safety features parents desire. tabeo e2 offers access to thousands of free apps in the tabeo App store and comes preloaded with dozens of premium apps carefully selected to entertain and educate kids ages 6 to 11. Featuring enhanced technology, such as the Android Jelly Bean 4.2 operating system, Bluetooth, and a dual-core 1.0 GHz processor for faster performance, tabeo e2 also includes improved parental controls and high-impact screen protection. tabeo e2 will be available in three colors exclusively at Toys “R” Us stores nationwide and online at tabeo.com beginning in October.

Designed to provide users with an even more compelling tablet experience, tabeo e2 has been engineered specifically for kids of the digital generation. The larger 8-inch multi-touch screen displays more than 16 million colors with an advanced screen resolution. That, combined with a faster dual-core 1.0 GHz processor and quad-core graphics processing unit (GPU), lets users switch between browsing the Internet, watching movies, and playing games quickly and easily. tabeo e2 is also Bluetooth-enabled, allowing it to work with all Bluetooth wireless speakers and accessories.

tabeo e2 will be available in a blue, pink, or clear custom-made protective case. Every tabeo e2 also comes complete with one micro USB cable and one specially designed charging pin to ensure easy connection to a computer or wall outlet for charging. [Read more...]