China Toy Fair


Sprout Introduces New Sprout Channel Cubby Tablet

SproutLogoThe 24-hour preschool TV destination Sprout has its own kids’ tablet, the Sprout Channel Cubby, which will be available this October at Wal-Mart stores and at walmart.com. Produced by Ematic for kids ages 2 to 6, the Cubby features trusted entertainment and learning content preloaded onto the tablet, and will include special credits for vudu.com, allowing customers to download additional content.

SproutCubby.vers2The preloaded content accessible without Wi-Fi connectivity includes full episodes of Sprout shows, such as The Chica Show, Barney, Fireman Sam, Chloe’s Closet, and the premiere episode of Astroblast; music videos; and songs. Meanwhile, the preloaded, Sprout-recommended apps include Sproutlet Weather Report, favorite characters The Wiggles, and more. [Read more...]

WIT Announces Winning Moves Event for Female Entrepreneurs, Inventors, and Manufacturers

Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment (WIT) is hosting its first Winning Moves workshop, which will provide WIT members with an opportunity to develop their careers and grow their businesses.

Women-owned businesses can pitch their products to Wal-Mart, inventors can present their product concepts to toy companies, and members seeking professional development advice can meet with toy experts for a speed mentoring session. [Read more...]

Smallest Skylanders Make Big Debut with Skylanders Minis

SkylandersMinis.SpryFans attending the recent Gamescom 2014 in Cologne, Germany, got a hands-on opportunity to play Skylanders Trap Team with cute, pocket-sized characters called Skylanders Minis. The new line of 16 characters, from Activision Publishing Inc., is playable with upgrades and abilities just like any other Skylanders, including the ability to trap villains.

The figures are roughly one-third the size of regular Skylanders playable with Skylanders Trap Team. The Skylanders Minis available for play at the Gamescom booth were Spry, Mini Jini, Drobit, Trigger Snappy, and Hijinx.

Skylanders Minis will be sold in two-packs and will be available at Wal-Mart.

SwimWays Uses Its Noodle with Aqua Rider Acquisition

SwimWays.AquaRiderSwimWays Corp. recently acquired Aqua Rider, a patent pending pool noodle float that features the head and tail of colorful animal characters, as well as a built-in seat for riding. SwimWays will be able to consolidate production efforts using the same base noodle, and the product will be made in both China and the U.S., and assembled and shipped from the U.S.

Aqua Riders, which were introduced to market last year, will be available in many styles, including Orca, Shark, Gator, and Sea Horse. SwimWays will begin distributing Aqua Riders, which are made for swimmers of all ages, under the SwimWays brand next January.

The item is currently sold at Wal-Mart, BJ’s, and Leslie’s Pool Supply, among other retailers, and the acquisition is not expected to affect the Aqua Rider’s distribution.

VTech’s Kidizoom Smartwatch Includes Built-In Camera and More

VTech Smartwatch Release FINAL[4]Today, VTech launched its first ever camera watch for kids: the Kidizoom Smartwatch. The world’s first smartwatch for kids, its features include a built-in camera, video, and photo effects. The Kidizoom Smartwatch also has a 1.4-inch color touch screen, more than 50 digital and analog clock displays that help kids learn to tell time, a rechargeable battery, alarm clock, timer, stopwatch, voice recorder with funny voice changing effects, and parental game controls.

Since it is made for kids, the Kidizoom Smartwatch features a durable design to withstand drops and bumps, and is splash and sweat proof. In addition, the Kidizoom Smartwatch is PC and Mac compatible for uploading photos, videos, and recorded voice files, and offers access to VTech’s Learning Lodge app store.

The Kidizoom Smartwatch is recommended for kids ages 4 and up, and is available now at www.vtechkids.com, amazon.com, target.com, toysrus.com, and walmart.com.

New Opportunities for Toy Companies at Fall Toy Preview 2014

The Toy Industry Association (TIA) has made several changes to its Fall Toy Preview to widen the show’s attendee base and provide added value for members of the global toy industry. According to the TIA, the updates were developed by the Trade Show Committee and were based on feedback received from buyers and sellers who responded to TIA post-show surveys.

As part of the changes, Fall Toy Preview is no longer strictly a “by-appointment-only” event allowing exhibitors onsite opportunities to do business. The TIA will now offer new booth packages that provide exhibiting companies with both open or combination—closed with and open display area—booths.

In addition, specialty buyers who are ready to show product for the 2015 holiday season and have an interest in previewing are invited to attend. Traditionally, only toy companies that sold product to mass market were allowed to exhibit. Also, the show will introduce new educational programming and a Woman’s Empowerment Initiative co-hosted by Women in Toys and Wal-Mart. Additional events will be announced in the coming weeks.

Fall Toy Preview will take place on October 7 to 9.

OP-ED: Sustainability, and Why It’s Good for Business

By Brian MacKinnon, Toy State senior vice president of sales

BrianMacKinnon.picFirst and foremost, toy makers are committed to providing retailers with high quality products. But if we can do this in an environmentally friendly way and be more profitable—well, now we are talking!

Over the past few months, Toy State has been part of a Wal-Mart-sponsored pilot program, RedE, intended to educate companies on ways to utilize sustainability best practices to both save energy over time as well as increase profitability. This past April, we were proud to be recognized by Wal-Mart as a global leader in this effort.

Let me share with you what we’ve learned through this pilot program so far: [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...]

Wal-Mart’s Toy Supplier of the Year Award Goes to Spin Master

logo_spinmasterWal-Mart chose Spin Master Ltd. as the recipient of its Toy Supplier of the Year award, which was presented at the company’s annual supplier summit in Orlando, Fla. on March 13.

“We are so honored to have received such great recognition from Wal-Mart,” said Ben Gadbois, global president and chief operating officer of Spin Master Ltd. “Our goal is to collaborate with all of our retail partners to be a world class supplier and deliver high quality and innovative products. Wal-Mart’s Toy Supplier of the Year Award exudes excellence in the business, and we look forward to continuing our work with Wal-Mart for many years to come.” [Read more...]

The Toy Book’s Toy Report 01/05/10

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Catch up on last week’s news! Read The Toy Book Toy Report for 01/05/10.

To view click here.