Author: Erika Graham

TIF Sponsors Fiesta Celebration At Ronald McDonald House

On Wednesday, June 22 (tonight!), the Ronald McDonald House New York will host a fun-filled fiesta to celebrate the longest day of the year, sponsored by the Toy Industry Foundation. Representatives of the Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) will join approximately 80 pediatric cancer patients and their families, participating in fiesta-themed activities during a toy distribution at the Ronald McDonald House. Product contributors for the event include Dunecraft, Little Kids, Inc, Pretty Ugly and Schoenhut Piano...

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Vote for Your Favorite Plush Team Artist Entry

The Etsy Plush Street Team, a group of plush toy artists, is hosting a friendly competition to create a popular plush design fitting the theme: “Under The Big Top: A Circus Of Misfits!” Each Plush Street artist was invited to submit circus-themed entries under two categories, Circus Animal Tricks and Circus People. All of the designs have been posted, and the polls are open until Monday, June 27. The grand-prize winner will receive a signed copy of Handmade Nation: The Rise of DIY, Art, Craft and Design by Faythe Levine and Cortney Heimert. View the entries and cast your own vote...

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Chipmunks Franchise Increases Merchandising Program

Leading up to the holiday release of Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked!, Fox Consumer Products and Bagdasarian Productions have enlisted a wide range of partners to fuel an increased merchandising program for the Chipmunks franchise. The new program aims to widen its consumer base to reach young girls with products based around The Chipettes, the fashionable female rock stars of the group. Just Play, LLC will create basic feature and novelty plush items, with Vivid Imaginations as the UK distributor. Santa’s Best will produce a holiday merchandise line, and Gipsy will introduce a specialty plush line in France. Majesco will once again spearhead the development of the video game based on the upcoming film. Ty will continue to produce a specialty toy line, and Build-A-Bear will re-offer its top-selling line of stuffable plush featuring Alvin and Brittany, as well as pre-stuffed plush of other main characters. HarperCollins will rejoin the program with a wide variety of published products, including beginning readers, novelizations, sticker books, and storybooks. Bendon Publishing will publish a line of activity, board, and coloring books along with flashcards and workbooks. Editora Alstro Astral will introduce a book program in Brazil. There will also be increased merchandising in food, apparel, and accessories...

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Wooly Willy Summer Festival, World Tour

Looking for a free summer event? Smethport, Penn., hometown of Wooly Willy, is hosting the third annual National Wooly Willy Wonderdaze festival, from June 23-25. The free festival will celebrate the 56th birthday of the popular toy with  opportunities for attendees to tour the Wooly Willy factory, see Wooly Willy window art, and more. The event will also include parades, live entertainment, food vendors, and a fireworks show. For the fans who can’t attend the festival, Patch Products will also be hosting the Where In The World Is Wooly Willy? summer adventure. Families can print out Wooly Willy, take a picture with him, then post it online and track Wooly Willy‘s global adventure. Participants have the opportunity to win prizes and view postcards and messages from Willy as he travels the...

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Global Toy Sales Increased In 2010, Reports NPD

Based on its “Global Toy Market Estimates: 2011 Edition,” The NPD Group reported that 2010 global toy sales were $83.3 billion, up nearly 5 percent from 2009. This increase was largely due to the market in Asia, which nearly doubled the world growth rate at a 9.2 percent increase in sales. However, the U.S. continued to top sales in the toy market, at approximately $22 billion. American sales combined with Japan, China, UK, and France sales added up to just over 50 percent of global sales. Europe suffered a 4 percent drop in sales from 2007 to 2010, partially due to fluctuating exchange rates. The emerging BRIC toy markets (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) reported a growth of 13 percent. The NPD Group expects a continuing positive trend this year, although not as dramatic as previous years. NPD also predicts a rebound in European...

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Liv Dolls Featured in Happy Meals

Following last month’s successful Zoobles Happy Meal Campaign, Spin Master, Ltd. has once again teamed up with McDonald’s to present the Liv Happy Meal Campaign, running now through July 7. Miniature Liv characters Daniela, Sophie, Katie, Alexis, and Hayden, plus three styling heads, are available now at participating McDonald’s across North America. Both the Liv and Zoobles Happy Meal Campaigns are scheduled to hit international markets later this year and in...

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New Product: Team Umizoomi Preschool Math Kits

Team Umizoomi, the educational preschool show airing on Nickelodeon, is launching its first consumer product line, Team Umizoomi Preschool Math Kits. These new products help promote social and cognitive development in young children before they reach kindergarten. The Math Kits will address the nine essential areas of math that preschoolers need to know: numbers, counting, patterns, shapes, measuring, positioning, sorting, classification, and reasoning. Each kit is based on one of three popular Team Umizoomi episodes and is equipped with a workbook, a storybook, an activity book, Math Mission Cards, and a Team Umizoomi episode on DVD. The Team Umizoomi Preschool Math Kits will be available exclusively at Toys “R” Us stores beginning July 1st. The kits can also be purchased online from Nickelodeon starting in...

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Bright Starts Announces New Products, Honors Mom at NYC Event

Bright Starts, an infant brand under the Kids II family, revealed its newest products and also honored its 2011 Pink Power Mom in a special celebration at The New Museum in New York City last week. Included in the new products were three additions to the InGenuity line: the washable Playard (SRP $139.99), the Sway Seat (SRP $119.99), and the Chair Top High Chair (SRP $54.99). Bright Starts also introduced Having a Ball, its first-ever product line geared towards the six-to-36 month age range. The seven new toys all retail for under $49.99 and aim to engage toddlers in a fun combination of learning and ball play. Not only is the Bright Starts product line expanding, but the Kids II is also beefing up its family with two newest acquisitions, Taggies and Rhino Toys. Taggies is a line of blankets, books, toys, and apparel that quickly capture an infant’s attention with a multitude of playful tags attached to the products. Rhino Toys is debuting both an infant and a sport line that is geared towards a child’s tactile development through fun and interactive toys and games. As a part of its annual event, Bright Starts, along with celebrity guest speaker Marcia Cross, awarded Mary Ann Wasil Nilan, the 2011 Pink Power Mom award, with a generous donation towards The Get In Touch Foundation. Wasil Nilan is a breast cancer...

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Street Surfing Introduces Whiplash Pink

Active girls will love the challenge of the Whiplash Pink, an innovative new scooter that can be self-propelled so that feet never have touch the ground. The Whiplash, by Street Surfing, LLC, incorporates Wave board technology with an exclusive caster design, flexing deck, and folding handlebars. Girls of all ages will be attracted to the Whiplash’s fashionable pink, white, and black design scheme, combined with the lasting fun of mastering its Wave board abilities. Girls can also ride the Whiplash Pink like a traditional scooter. The Whiplash Pink retails for $69.99 and is available at Kmart and...

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New DVD Release from The Laurie Berkner Band

Children won’t have long to wait until Party Day!, The Laurie Berkner Band’s second music video DVD, hits stores on July 26. The successful children’s music band can be seen regularly on the Nick Jr. channel as the band is continually featured on the series Jack’s Big Music Show. The band’s 2006 DVD, We Are…The Laurie Berkner Band, is a quadruple-platinum selling hit that solidified the band as children’s music stars. Party Day! will be a musical adventure as Laurie (lead vocals, guitar), Susie Lampert (keyboards), Adam Berstein (bass) and Bobby Golden (drums/percussion) travel to a costume party, a birthday party, and a pajama party. The DVD also comes with a five-track bonus CD that features a new, acoustical version of the hit song “My Family.” For information on 2011 tour dates, click here. To sample a few of the new Party Day! tracks, click on the links below: “Come On In” “Where Is The...

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