Author: James Zahn

The Wiggles Tackle Potty Training in New Single, Video

The Wiggles released “The Toilet Song,” the group’s first music of the new year. In the video animated by Super Simple Songs, the legendary group invites kids to “take the toilet challenge.” Surprisingly, potty training is a topic that The Wiggles have yet to tackle. “Parents have been asking The Wiggles for decades now to write a song about toilet training, as this is such a big issue in early childhood,” says Blue Wiggle Anthony Field. “We know this song will make toilet training fun for children and be a help to those caring for them.” The Wiggles will soon...

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Jazwares’ Rocket League Battle-Cars Race into Target

Rocket League Battle-Cars from Jazwares are now available at Target. Based on the popular video game, the 1:43-scale Battle-Cars are available in single packs, mystery garages, and the three-car custom mega pack. Battle-Cars are customizable like they are in the game, so kids can mix-and-match all 30 toppers, antennas, and rims across the entire lineup. The single packs and custom mega-pack each come with a unique DLC code that can be redeemed for an in-game item (game sold separately) unique to series one. Battle-Cars available across the first series include Dominus GT, Centio V17, Octane, Takumi, Mantis, Masamune, Ripper, Dominus, X-Devil, Endo, Octane (version...

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WowWee’s Buttheads Raise a Stink at Retail

Last year belonged to poop, and this year brings the rise of the butts. WowWee, the company behind Fingerlings, launches Buttheads this month, a series of 4-inch fart prank novelty figures. The electronic collectibles are available at mass retail, drawing kids in with colorful packaging and a tagline that says it all—”Buttheads: Their Heads are Butts!” The four characters in wave one include Tushi (Master of the Martial Farts), Robutt (Artificial Inflatulence), The Grim Ripper (Silent But Deadly), and Brainfart (The Farting Dead). Kids can pull each Butthead’s finger to activate fart sounds and battle mode to compete in disciplines...

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Duncan Toys Spins into 90th Anniversary

Ohio-based Duncan Toys Co. celebrates its 90th Anniversary this year. It was 1929 when Donald Duncan witnessed his first yo-yo return, kicking off the start of the company with a team of Filipino demonstrators carving wooden yo-yos in California. Today, Duncan has a team elite competitors who constantly promote the brand, pushing the boundaries of their tricks at events worldwide. In celebrating the 90th anniversary, monthly launches of limited edition Duncan yo-yo models will be available, and the World Yo-Yo Contest will be held in Cleveland this August. Prior to introducing its famous plastic models, Duncan moved to Luck, Wisconsin in 1946, producing...

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The Long In-Development Monopoly Movie May Pass Go

Another classic title from Hasbro Gaming may finally hit the big screen. Nearly four years after its initial announcement, Hasbro and Lionsgate will reportedly bring Monopoly to life as a live-action film starring Kevin Hart (Jumanji, The Upside). Deadline reports that Hart’s Ride Along collaborator, Tim Story (Shaft, Fantastic Four) will helm the project. There is currently no word on plot or whose script will be used. Back in 2015, a different creative team was in place with a story centering on a boy from Baltic Avenue who uses both chance and community in a quest to make his...

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The Loyal Subjects, Bandai Make Distribution Pact

The Loyal Subjects (TLS) partnered with Bandai America this month in a long-term distribution deal to expand TLS collectibles across retail. Launched in 2009, TLS is known for its signature Action Vinyls—a line that pairs the designer vibe from the vinyl toy world with the poseability found in action figures. The 3.25-inch scale figures have up 15 points of articulation and come packed with a collector card and interchangeable accessories. TLS has a toy box mentality in that their figures work together, so an accessory from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles can also be held by He-Man, and characters...

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DC, Funko Bring Primal Age Comic, Toys to Target

Last fall, Funko surprised many with its DC Primal Age collection—a line of toys built around a “what if?” scenario. The collection of retro-styled 5.5-inch chunky action figures reimagined the DC superheroes as if they’d been released as Medieval warriors during the He-Man and The Masters of the Universe era of the 1980s. Launched alongside a play set as an Amazon exclusive, DC Entertainment and Funko will bring the line to Target this month, complete with a proper backstory. DC Primal Age hits mass retail with a 100-page giant comic that creates a barbarian mythos behind the Funko action figures,...

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The Joester Loria Group Appointed to Rep Miffy & Friends

The Joester Loria Group (JLG) will represent the Miffy & Friends brand as the exclusive licensing agency in the U.S. and Canada for Mercis bv. Based on Dick Bruna’s kid’s book character, Miffy is gearing up for a 65th anniversary celebration in 2020. JLG will focus its North American strategy on specialty distribution and products, drawing from a library of creative assets developed by Mercis bv. Key categories of infant and toddler toys, apparel, feeding, home products, and others will be broadened, and the agency will increase the selection of home and gift collections for Miffy, following success of the bestselling Mr...

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Hasbro, Lionsgate Team Up with nWay for Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid

A new era of Saban’s Power Rangers begins this year as the perennial top 10 NPD Group action brand takes new shape under Hasbro ownership. As announced during Toy Fair last year, new toys will become available beginning in April, along with a new game. Hasbro and Lionsgate teamed with nWay, the developer and publisher behind the mobile game Power Rangers: Legacy Wars, for a new cross-platform fighting game, Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid. The game will be available as a digital download first on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch in April, with a PC release later this year. Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid pits new and...

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ESL Investments Officially Scores Winning Bid for Sears, Kmart

Following weeks of speculation after a questionable holiday season, Sears and Kmart will live on for now. ESL Investments, headed by Sears chairman and former CEO Eddie Lampert, is the winning bidder in a court-supervised auction for “substantially all” of Sears Holding Corp.’s assets. Pending bankruptcy court approval, ESL will take ownership of the “go forward stores” that will remain open, plus brands such as Kenmore and Diehard in a deal valued at more than $5.2 billion. The hearing to approve the sale is scheduled for Feb. 1. Provided the closing conditions are satisfied, the transaction is expected to close...

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