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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Kurio Teams Up with YouTube Kids App

Techno Source Kurio MotionKD Interactive and YouTube have entered a partnership whereby all new Kurio tablets sold in the U.S. will come preloaded with the new YouTube Kids app. Existing Kurio users will be able to find the YouTube Kids app in the Content Management section of their parent owner account and add it to any child profile.

The YouTube Kids app is packed full of age-appropriate videos, channels, and playlists. It features popular children’s programming, plus kid-friendly content from filmmakers, teachers, and creators all around the world. For parents’ peace of mind, videos in the app are narrowed down to ensure that only relevant and appropriate content for kids is shown.

Q&A with Søren Torp Laursen, President, Lego Systems

Lego Direktion  15,012,2005 © Niels Aage Skovbo, FOKUSThe Toy Book (TTB): How has the success of The Lego Movie helped to transform the entertainment and merchandising arm of Lego?

Søren Torp Laursen (STL): We are thrilled that The Lego Movie captured the attention of so many people around the world last year, serving as an anthem for creative building that drove families to pull out their existing Lego collections or try one of the Lego sets that we had on shelf. While we do not have ambitions to become an entertainment company, we know that storytelling and content—be it film, TV, YouTube tutorials, or fan-generated animations—is an important way that we create relevance while inspiring new ideas for play time. The movie was a perfect validation of our belief in the power of stories, and we look forward to deeper relationships with our content partners to continue to enhance what we do best in delivering fun and creative building sets that inspire children to become their own storytellers.
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Mattel’s HIT Entertainment to Develop New Thomas & Friends Digital Content

Thomas&Friends,70yearsThomas & Friends will embark on new adventures that will arrive on YouTube throughout this year. The global preschool content development division for Mattel Inc., HIT Entertainment, will develop 52 three-minute original digital videos for Thomas & Friends. The new short-form videos feature Thomas the Tank Engine having adventures off the Island of Sodor in fascinating destinations like London, Paris, and New York City, and coming to life in children’s playrooms. [Read more...]

Q&A with Paul Solomon, Co-CEO, Moose Toys

Moose.PaulSolomonThe Toy Book (TTB): In what new way are you using social media to correspond directly with consumers?

Paul Solomon (PS): The popularity of toy unboxing videos on YouTube has given Moose Toys the opportunity to reach more consumers on platforms other than TV. Moose has seen first-hand how social media allows consumers to engage more directly with our products. For example, Moose garnered more than 11 million views from our animated Shopkins webisodes. [Read more...]

Fisher-Price Launches Best Possible Start Campaign with Parents from Around the World

This past Friday, Fisher-Price Inc. released a short film entitled Wishes for Baby, marking the official launch of its Best Possible Start marketing campaign. Directed by Patrick Creadon, and filmed with real parents from around the world on New Year’s Day and during the final days of December of last year, the short film is intended to capture the love and hopes all parents share for their children during their first moments.

The production involved more than 50 crew members around the world, in seven countries over five continents and in 10 hospitals, shooting the births of 27 babies and the first wishes of 26 families. More than 15 hours of raw footage was scoured through and edited within 24 hours in order to produce the 90-second film.


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Techno Source to Launch Kurio Xtreme

Kurio Xtreme_Blue_Kurio Motion Racing_Techno SourceThe Kurio Xtreme tablet, from Techno Source, is the newest addition to the Kurio line of Android devices for kids. Due for release on October 1, the 7-inch Wi-Fi-enabled tablet features a sleek and thinner design, a faster processor, double internal memory, Bluetooth technology, and 24/7 customer support. It also introduces exclusive Kurio Motion gaming, the first body-controlled games on a tablet. Ten Kurio Motion games will be preloaded onto the tablet and millions of other apps can be accessed through the Kurio Store and Google Play.

The Kurio Motion games lets kids play on screen as they jump, run, and move in order to swim, ski, tend goal, speed race, and more in the game. The technology uses the tablet’s camera and a Kurio Motion gaming stand is included with the device. [Read more...]