Sweet Suite 2016

New Star Wars: The Force Awakens Toys and Other Products Go on Sale Everywhere

Force-Friday-logo-RED[1].jpgToday, merchandise inspired by the highly anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens launched at retailers as Force Friday officially went underway. More than 3,000 retail locations in the U.S. opened their doors at midnight for fans to be among the first to discover new Star Wars products.

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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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Star Wars: The Force Awakens Toy Unboxing Goes Live Globally Ahead of Force Friday

Star Wars LogoNew Star Wars: The Force Awakens toys will be unveiled through a live unboxing event broadcast on YouTube. The event will see highlights from a range of merchandise, and is scheduled to unfold over a span of 18 hours in 15 cities across 12 countries worldwide.

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Disney Interactive Reveals Full Schedule for Disney Infinity Toy Box Summit

DisneyInteractiveLogoDisney Interactive has released the schedule and details on its Disney Infinity Toy Box Summit, to be held at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif., ahead of this year’s D23 Expo 2015. Through August 13, Toy Box Artists from around the world will gather for an in-depth exploration of the Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition Toy Box mode. Other events include an opportunity to meet the developers from Avalanche Software, a Toy Box building competition, and more.

The full schedule for both days is as follows:

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OgoSport Launches OgoBILD Shorts Stop-Motion Animation Website

Ogosport,bild_animateThis past Wednesday, OgoSport launched OgoBILD Shorts, an online platform that lets kids showcase stop-motion animation movies they create using OgoSports Bild + Animate It kits. The website pulls together videos in real-time from YouTube that use the hashtag #OgoBildShorts, displaying them for other community members to see.

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Bob the Builder Is Back with New Online Content

Bob the Builder1Bob the Builder is returning to PBS in November with CGI-animation, a brand new look for both the series and its title character, and Downton Abbey‘s Joanne Froggatt voicing one of the lead roles, Wendy. Ahead of the TV show, HIT Entertainment, a division of Mattel, is welcoming back Bob with a brand new Bob the Builder YouTube channel launching today.

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New Thomas the Tank Engine Documentary Debuts on YouTube

An exclusive 30-minute YouTube documentary about Thomas the Tank Engine, Thomas & Friends: 70 Years of Friendship, has debuted in time for Thomas’ 70th anniversary year, on the Thomas & Friends YouTube channel. Mattel produced the documentary with Tongal, and teamed with the crowdsourcing studio to select Mindfruit as the project’s production company.

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Conquer the Digitalverse with Tube Heroes by Jazwares

Tube HeroesConquering the digitalverse is no small task, but Tube Heroes are up to the challenge. A collaboration between Jazwares LLC and popular digital media personalities, Tube Heroes harnesses the social media prowess of these personas in a collection of toys that enables fans to interact with their online favorites offline as well.

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Q&A with Mattel: Social Media, 3-D Printing, and More

logo_Mattel logoThe Toy Book (TTB): In what new ways are you using social media to correspond directly with consumers?

Mattel: We engage with consumers across all brand and corporate social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, as well as retailer sites, like Wal-Mart and Kohl’s. At Mattel, we have a fully functioning reporting and engineering team dedicated to understanding what the consumer is saying and turning that data into actionable improvements for both our manufacturing and design process.

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Q&A with Laura Zebersky, CCO and EVP, Jazwares

Jazwares.LauraThe Toy Book (TTB): How have you seen consumer expectations change over the past decade?

Laura Zebersky (LZ): Over the past 10 years, the convergence of toys and entertainment has been unprecedented. Consumers have come to expect both online and offline experiences from their favorite brands. It’s not enough anymore to create a new toy. Stories, videos, and other content are needed to really engage kids and toy fans of all ages. This leads into another big change: If you want to reach consumers today, traditional formulas from years ago need to be augmented with strategies that include communication across multiple social platforms. Kids are engaging in new ways with different types of media; they might interact simply by sharing images and video of exciting new toys on various social channels or become avid fans and essentially create celebrities on YouTube. They want the whole experience, and the brands of tomorrow will have to provide it in accessible and innovative ways to stand out from the crowd.
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