Author: James Zahn

Exclusive First Look: Puppy Dog Pals in the Windy City

The Toy Book has the exclusive first look at a special episode of Disney Junior‘s Puppy Dog Pals, “Windy City.” The preschool series highlights Chicago attractions in the new episode premiering Friday, Jan. 25 at 9:30 a.m. on Disney Channel. Pug puppies Bingo (Issac Ryan Brown) and Rolly (Sam Lavagnino) go on a mission to catch some wind when their owner Bob (series creator Harland Williams) has trouble testing his new kite invention. Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters, Grace and Frankie) guest stars as the voice of Buddy the dog in a musical tribute to The Blues Brothers. Puppy Dog Pals...

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Spielwarenmesse Celebrates 70th Anniversary with ToyFestival Party

The 70th anniversary edition of Spielwarenmesse toy fair will feature more than 2,900 toy, hobby, and leisure manufacturers from around the world. More than 71,000 toy buyers and exhibitors from more than 125 countries will attend from Jan. 30 to Feb. 3—and this year there’s a party. On Thursday evening, Spielwarenmesse will celebrate 70 years of toys in Hall 3C. Among the milestones being celebrated are the 21 companies that have exhibited at Spielwarenmesse every year since the beginning. The companies are: Peter Bausch, Beli-Beco, Gebr. Faller, Ferbedo, Haba – Habermaass, Heless, Teddy-Hermann, J. A. Huck, Käthe Kruse, Loquai-Holzkunst, Gebr. Märklin & Cie., Edwin...

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Aurora World Plots a Green Evolution

Aurora World embarks upon its first major company-wide environmental effort this month. Following last year’s transition from plastic fill to 100 percent post-consumer fill (fibers made from recycled materials) for its Destination Nation line, Aurora World will adopt 100 percent post-consumer polyester for all its products. The change is effective this month. The company will also begin utilizing eco-friendly recycled biopolymer pellets in all of its products. The pellets are used to give plush toys weight and the best shelf appearance; alone, they account for over 3 million pounds of recycled plastics annually. Additionally, Aurora World will replace its current satin sewn-in...

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New Leadership Moves at Precious Moments

The Precious Moments Family of Companies enters the new year with a shift in leadership. John Lanman, who has been a member of the Precious Moments Advisory Board for the past two years, will assume the role of chief executive officer. Former CEO Steve Kosmalski was appointed to the Board of Directors. Lanman was hand-picked by Kosmalski based on his previous experience at Oriental Trading Co., Block and Company, Inc., and Blyth, Inc. Lanman will use his experience in the gift and decor space to evolve Precious Moments to bring the core values of its brand into new product categories...

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The Toy Association Fights Back Against Counterfeit Toys

The Toy Association‘s new white paper, The Real Threat of Fake Toys: The Increase of Knockoff and Counterfeit Toys Sold Online & How to Fight Back, identifies three main factors contributing to the upsurge in knock-off, counterfeit, and otherwise illicit toys being sold via online marketplaces. The rise of counterfeit and knockoff toys hit the mainstream last month when a child was injured playing with what was thought to be a popular magnetic toy. Instead, it was a cheap knockoff sold by a third-party vendor on a leading retail website. The toy may have looked authentic at a glance, but it...

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The Simplay3 Co. Introduces Rock & Roll Teeter, Rock Around Wobble Disk

The Simplay3 Co. added two new products to its growing lineup of made-in-the-U.S. toys. The Rock & Roll Teeter and Rock Around Wobble Disk are both designed for indoor and outdoor active play, and require no assembly. Designed and manufactured in Ohio, the Teeter and Wobble Disk are designed for kids ages 2 to 5. The Rock & Roll Teeter is a seesaw with grip handles, two seats, and high backrests for active play indoors or outside. Kids can flip it over to crawl through the tunnel, or rock and balance with it using the item’s unique contours. It also...

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The Spin Master Era of Monster Jam Begins

Spin Master began its foray into Monster Jam. First announced back in 2017, this year marks the official start of a 10-year licensing partnership with Feld Entertainment Inc. as Spin Master takes the wheel as the new master toy partner for Monster Jam. This season, driver Camden Murphy is taking control of the powerful Bakugan Dragonoid Monster Truck, which made its debut in the Stadium Championship Series this week. Murphy, the 2017 Monster Jam Rookie of the Year, is piloting the first Monster Jam vehicle to be directly inspired by an existing Spin Master franchise. Bakugan relaunched in December as part...

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TCG Adds Disney•Pixar’s Toy Story 4 to the Megamat Mix

TCG Toys adds Disney•Pixar’s Toy Story 4 to its Megamat line of play surfaces, which will be available at retail this summer. Offerings will be available in a variety of sizes and price points, with an assortment toplined with the Toy Story 4 Jumbo Megamat—a 5-by-3.5-foot soft, wipe-clean, non-toxic foam play surface complete with two character vehicles. The lineup of TCG Toy Story 4 Megamats also includes: Felt Megamat—A 27.5-by-31.5-inch full-color play scene made of soft, strong felt with a finished border. Tile Megamat—Six soft and durable foam tiles fit together to make a 28-by-19-inch play surface. Includes one character vehicle. Original Megamat—This sturdy...

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Disney Junior Dance Party On Tour Expands

Disney Junior Dance Party On Tour‘s inaugural year featured more than 120 shows last year and a Pollstar Award nomination. This year, the tour expands with newly-announced dates in some new markets, kicking off its second season on Feb. 22 in Stamford, Connecticut. The 90-minute show features the first live-action appearances of Fancy Nancy and Bingo and Rolly from Puppy Dog Pals, along with kid-favorite Disney Junior characters from Vampirina, Sofia the First, Doc McStuffins, Elena of Avalor, and, of course, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse. The musical tour offers fans a choice of two VIP package options—pre-party and...

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Sanrio’s Hello Kitty 45th Anniversary Celebration Begins

Sanrio is kicking off Hello Kitty‘s 45th anniversary celebration. Now through the end of the year, visitors to Sanrio Puroland, better-known as Hello Kitty Land Tokyo and its sister park Harmonyland, will enjoy a host of themed events to mark the occasion. The kick off coincides with Sweets Puro (sweets and strawberries), the first seasonal event of the year at the park, which has welcomed guests from around the world since its opening in 1990. The My First Kitty event will offer visitors themed activities, shows, character meet-and-greets, and photo ops.   View this post on Instagram   Nope, we’re...

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