Learning Express Toys Presents Vendor Awards

LearningExpressLogoLast month, Learning Express Toys (LE Toys) hosted a franchise-wide convention in San Antonio, Texas, that included store owners, store managers, home office employees, and vendors. During the event, LE Toys presented its vendors with awards.

[Read more...]

COMMENTARY: Making the Most of the Fourth of July

Time is flying, and it’s hard to believe that next weekend is already the Fourth of July. For many families, this means barbecues, friends and family, music, and to top it all off, a spectacular fireworks display. Many Fourth of Julys from my childhood were spent at the beach or someone’s pool, and the days always seemed to last forever—in a good way. While the grown-ups mingled, we kids would embark on a day of adventure—exploring, playing, competing, and forging relationships. Here are some toys to give kids everything they need for a fantastic Fourth of July:


Toysmith’s Fish-Butterfly Net is a classic way to keep kids entertained for hours in the great outdoors. This multi-purpose net lets kids catch insects on land, minnows in the water, or fireflies once the sun goes down. I remember spending hours with my friends and cousins outside at the docks, waiting to plunge the net in at just the right time to catch the tiny fish that flickered in the sun beams. Bonus points if there’s a pond nearby for catching frogs. [Read more...]

Toysmith Recalls Light-Up Soft Plastic Frogs and Ducks Due to Choking Hazard

Recalled ToysToysmith has recalled its light-up soft plastic toy frogs and ducks. These toys have a metal conductor pin on the bottom that can come out, posing a potential choking hazard.

Consumers are advised to stop using these items immediately, to keep them away from children, and to return any to their place of purchase for a refund. The plastic toys were sold exclusively at Cost Plus World Market between July 2012 and December 2012 at $3 each. The frog came in green and the ducks came in yellow, pink, and clear. Each toy is approximately 2.25 inches long and 1.5 inches in height, and lights up when sensors along the bottom are touched or placed in water.

There is also a round tag attached to the product with the UPC number 2424 5159.

Contact Toysmith at (800) 356-0474 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST, Monday through Friday, or visit www.toysmith.com and click “Safety” on the left side of the page for more information.

Makedo Makes U.S. Debut

Makedo, reusable creative play that transforms everyday and recycled materials into play objects, has landed in the U.S. Makedo is now being carried by specialty retailers, including Fat Brain Toys and MindWare, through Toysmith, Makedo’s exclusive U.S. distributor.

Makedo encourages kids to get on the floor and make stuff with their hands, while facilitating unstructured play. With every person having slightly different packaging materials at their fingertips, each Makedo creation is an individual, one-of-a-kind creative expression. As they transform the stuff around them—primarily found or reclaimed materials, such as cardboard boxes and plastic containers—into play objects, kids let their imaginations and creativity run free.

Each Makedo kit includes a safe-saw for cutting and punching through materials safely, re-clips, and lock-hinges for connecting. Makedo features Find & Make, Freeplay, and Cup Critter ranges.  Find & Make is guided, project-based creativity, with creations such as a make a robot, plane, or car. The Find & Make kits also include themed decorative stickers, illustrated step-by-step instructions and an inspiration poster.  Freeplay is open-ended and leaves the imagination in total control. Makedo’s Cup Critter range is a complete activity for young kids, allowing them to easily transform coffee cup packaging into a cute creature.

This post was originally written by Gigi Rubin and published by ToyBook.com For more news, visit www.toybook.com, 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.

The Hot New Toy: Rubber Bands?

Learning Express, a franchise of more than 140 independently owned and operated specialty toy stores, has noticed that a simple product is becoming a hot trend for kids: collectible rubber bands. “We have a storeowner in North Carolina who has sold over 25,000 packs of rubber bands since January 1 of this year,” said Rob Kracinovich, the corporate buyer for the novelty category at the company, in a press release.

The rubber bands are a playful version of the wristband trend that was made popular by the Lance Armstrong Foundation’s Livestrong silicon bracelets. The bands (such as Toysmith’s shown above) are shaped as objects such as turtles, elephants, ostriches, cats, and pigs, and when stretched out can be worn as colorful bracelets, anklets, or hair-ties. When they aren’t being worn the rubber bands spring back to their original shapes.

[Read more...]

Toysmith Named Exclusive Distributor for PinToy Line

Effective immediately, Toysmith is now the exclusive distributor of the PinToy brand of products for North America. The PinToy line covers a wide range of products, including toys, baby products, children’s games, and gift items. Toysmith will begin shipping the PinToy products starting this June.

PinToy products are made in Thailand using rubberwood from latex plantations. Popular products in line include: Rainbow Slope, Sorting Basket, the 36-Piece Construction Set, Pull-Along Caterpillar, and the Smile Rattle.