Author: Jacqueline Cucco

Go Ahead, Play With Your Food

The toy industry embraces foodie fun with edible toys. By JACQUELINE CUCCO, associate editor Elbows off the table, napkin in your lap, and don’t play with your food! Adults have always taught kids that food is for eating, not for playing. But toymakers are taking matters into their own hands and flipping the switch on the age-old rules of etiquette with a whole buffet of edible toys on the market. That’s right — toys you can eat. NEW TREND ALERT One of The Toy Association’s top toy trends of this year is “Foodie Fun,” based on the creative ways...

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‘The Gnome in Your Home’ Inspires Acts of Kindness

Dr. Susan S. Johnston, Ph.D partnered with Redasign Studio to bring The Gnome in Your Home to life through through a Kickstarter campaign. The Gnome in Your Home is a colorful picture book for kids ages 3-8 years old about a gnome named Heartley and his gnome friends. The gnomes find that although they are small, their kind acts can make a big difference. The book is written by Dr. Johnston and illustrated by Uma Sharma, and comes packaged with a 12-inch plush Heartley. The story concludes with a few pages of removable “kindness cards” that give examples of simple, kind acts that kids...

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Rubik’s Cube Has Big Plans for 40th Anniversary

The Rubik’s Cube is hitting the a big milestone, turning 40 years old next year, and Rubik’s Brand will celebrate the anniversary with a range of special events, new products, and partnerships. Rubik’s Brand will launch a new twisty puzzle created by Ernő Rubik; a series of brand collaborations and global licensing deals, influencer, and ambassador programs complemented by a multi-channel social media strategy; a global TV campaign; and a 20 month PR campaign. Speaking about the partnership, Smiley CEO Nicolas Loufrani said, “It is the only retro game to still be a massive hit with new generations of...

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USAopoly Releases Captain Marvel Card Game

USAopoly released Captain Marvel: Secret Skrulls, a social deduction card game inspired by Marvel Studios’ upcoming Captain Marvel film. In this 30-minute game, players can assume the identities of characters from the movie as they attempt to defend Earth in the intergalactic conflict between the Kree and the Skrulls. The game uses the same mechanics from USAopoly’s BANG! Game and is designed for four to seven people. Players can take on the roles of Captain Marvel, her allies, Skrulls, or a Skrull Defector, and then use logical reasoning, observations, and player feedback to strategically determine who to trust and...

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Buffalo Games to Release GOT and Pokémon Puzzles

Buffalo Games will launch new Game of Thrones and Pokémon jigsaw puzzles, available at most major retailers this spring. Fans can mentally prepare themselves for the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones with Buffalo Games’ new line of GOT-themed 500-piece jigsaw puzzles featuring the most popular characters and scenes from the show. The collection is made in collaboration with HBO Licensing & Retail. The final season of the show premiers on April 14. Pokémon Detective Pikachu hits theaters this May, and Buffalo Games teamed with The Pokémon Company International to release a new line of Pokémon-themed jigsaw puzzles...

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The Return of FAO SCHWARZ

The Comeback of a Classic Toy Store with In-Store Experiences Jumbo plush giraffes stand guard as a ruby red, mini Mercedes Benz toy convertible twinkles with 44,000 shimmering Swarovski crystals. Little feet tap over the keys of a giant piano, lighting them up one by one in front of the giant window overlooking a buzzing courtyard below. This is FAO Schwarz, back with a new flagship store in the heart of New York City’s Rockefeller Plaza. The grand opening was in November, three years after the famous toy store shut down its massive Fifth Avenue location. The new store...

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Storm Collectibles Launches Gears of War Action Figures

Bluefin, a Bandai Namco group company and a North American distributor of toys, collectibles, and hobby merchandise from Japan and Asia, announces a new action figure product line from Storm Collectibles as it opens preorders for Gears of War. A pair of officially licensed new 1/12-scale figures for Marcus Fenix and Augustus Cole will launch the new Storm Collectibles’ line based on the Gears of War video games. The figures will be available this summer from authorized Bluefin retailers nationwide, and also from a variety of leading online outlets. Preorders are available now. Bluefin also announces a special Gears of War figure...

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The Toy Association Gears Up For Creative Factor 2019

Toy Fair New York is right around the corner, and attendees have a lot to look forward to at The Toy Association’s Creative Factor, a series of events in which inventors, designers, and entrepreneurs come together to share ideas, experiences, and skills. Co-founders Brett Klisch, creative director at Peru Meridian Studios, and Marian Bossard, executive vice president of global market events at The Toy Association started Creative Factor 16 years ago. The program has evolved greatly over the years. In the past, the events were spread all over the Javits Center, with “classes in the back of the show...

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Hasbro, Cartoon Network Partner for Transformers: Cyberverse

Hasbro Studios, the Los Angeles-based entertainment distribution division of Hasbro Inc., entered international deal with Cartoon Network to distribute the first season of the animated series Transformers: Cyberverse to Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. The deal includes both linear and digital distribution to bring the show, which already airs on Cartoon Network in the U.S., to the rest of the...

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Chicago Toy & Game Group Names 2018 TAGIE Award Winners

The winners for the ninth annual Toy & Game Innovation (TAGIE) Awards were announced at a gala on Navy Pier in Chicago on Friday night. The TAGIE Awards paid tribute to toy and game inventors from around the world, and excellence was recognized in the Toy Innovator, Game Innovator, Rising Star Innovator, and Digital Toy or Game Innovator categories. Industry colleagues and the public selected the winners. The evening’s events included a keynote address by Nancy Zwiers, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Spin Master, and culminated with Lifetime Achievement Awards being given to David Small and...

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