Author: Kelly Corbett

3Doodler Introduces Educational Product Line for School Use

3Doodler introduces a new product line designed specifically for classroom use. The 3Doodler Learning Packs include 12 3Doodler Start or Create+ pens, 1,200 strands of plastic, a host of other tech accessories, lesson plans, and classroom materials. Smaller six-pen sets will be made available online and at major retail partners. 3Doodler also introduces the EDU Teacher Experience Kit, which offer teachers a taste of the EDU Learning Packs at a smaller cost. Each Teacher Experience Kit features a 3Doodler Start or Create+ pen, a sampler of plastic, abbreviated lesson plans, and classroom materials for a trial run. In the five years since 3Doodler’s founding, the company’s...

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Digital Playground Is Here To Stay, Says The Genius Of Play Report

The Genius of Play convened a panel of experts at the Family Tech Summit during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) earlier this year to explore the intersection between traditional and digital play. It compiled its findings into a study titled, Why Play is the Secret Sauce for Raising the Next Generation of Digital Innovators. This expert panel included Sara DeWitt, vice president of PBS Kids Digital; Dr. Jodi Sherman LeVos, director of child development & learning at Mattel; Dr. Erik Fisher, an emotional dynamics expert; and Ken Seiter, The Toy Association’s executive VP of marketing communications. The Genius of Play found that...

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Jakks Pacific Names Brent Novak as Executive VP and Chief Financial Officer

Jakks Pacific Inc. appointed Brent Novak as executive vice president and chief financial officer, effective April 1. Novak will report directly to Jakks’ Chairman and CEO, Stephen Berman. He will be responsible for overseeing all financial aspects of the company, including financial planning and analysis, accounting and financial reporting, and managing the tax, internal audit, treasury, and investor relations functions. Novak has more than 23 years of experience in finance, tax and corporate development, with expertise in operations, financial planning, strategy, mergers and acquisitions, financial reporting, and accounting. Until March, Novak served as chief financial officer of the Ixia...

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Tony Ciepiel Named CEO of Step2 Discovery

Aterian Investment Partners named Anthony (“Tony”) Ciepiel as CEO of Step2 Discovery. In this position, Ciepiel will lead the combined businesses of The Step2 Company and Backyard Discovery, effective April 2. Ciepiel was most recently chief operating officer of Vitamix Corporation, a privately held, family owned and operated manufacturer of high-performance blending equipment for home and commercial use. Tony will succeed Interim CEO Tom Doherty, who was appointed in...

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R/Cs Take New Roads

The Category Drives Out of Sales Slump with New Added Features There’s no play experience like racing a car across the playroom floor via remote control. While the video game industry surprises us year after year with even more realistic and stunning visuals, it can’t deliver the marvel in a child’s eyes after flicking the on/off switch on their new gizmo, toggling with the remote, and watching a still vehicle come alive in real time. R/C vehicles put kids in the driver’s seat for the first time. While there will most likely be a rocky beginning (read: bump vehicle...

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You Are What You Tweet

Bringing Humor and Personality to Your Twitter Feed When it comes to social media platforms, Twitter is the hot spot where dissatisfied customers group to howl off complaints, questions, and comments. It’s a customer service hub, a digital bulletin board, and now an entertainment epicenter. Unlike other social media platforms, Twitter doesn’t boast high-quality images, engaging video, or the ability to view and post “stories.” Many see this online blue bird’s nest of chatter as just a stream of words and updates. It wasn’t until last year that Twitter doubled its character limit from 140 to 280, so its...

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Hasbro Named Master Global Toy Licensee For UglyDolls

Hasbro Inc. was named the master global toy licensee for the UglyDolls franchise. The agreement between the toy company and STX Entertainment combines STX’s content creation, marketing, and distribution with Hasbro’s experience with creating toys that tie in with entertainment brands. The UglyDolls franchise will debut with an animated feature film slated for a 2019 release via STXfilms. Additional UglyDolls projects are currently in the work across the company’s divisions, including STXtelevision, STXdigital, and STXsurreal. The deal was brokered by Stephanie Sperber at White Space...

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TOMY Introduces Nature Cat Toy Line

Spiffy Pictures debuted its licenses and partnership programs for Nature Cat at the Toy Fair 2018, including a line from master toy licensee TOMY. TOMY’s Nature Cat toy line includes the Nature Cat Feature Plush and a role-play line of Headband Plush. The feature plush lets kids press Nature Cat’s belly to hear 13 phrases from the series. Additionally, Spiffy Pictures and Kohl’s Children’s Museum partnered to create an original Nature Cat exhibit to bring an immersive experience to 300 children’s museums nationwide. The exhibits will be open beginning next year. Nature Cat will also expand its digital footprint this year with new...

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ThoughtFull Toys Creates Limited Edition Car In Late Teammate’s Honor

ThoughtFull Toys will make 500 limited edition Modarri T2 (Trevor Floyd) cars in honor of the late Trevor Floyd, a close friend and team member of the company. Floyd was just had just been promoted to sales manager of the company. One hundred percent of the money sold for the will go to his family. Matthew Lam at Ricko LTD, Thoughtfull Toys’s Chinese factory, donated all of the cars to this cause. T2 was Trevor’s nickname at ThoughtFull Toys. This limited edition T2 Modarri car has been named after him, and is decorated in his favorite sayings and the...

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Gentle Giant Expands to Include Gentle Giant Toys

Gentle Giant Ltd. unveiled a new mass market collectible toy division, Gentle Giant Toys. The new division will have independent branding from Gentle Giant Ltd. with a new logo, website, and social media handles. Consumers can expect to see Bust-Ups, which are collectible pre-painted, snap together mystery model kits, as well as many Marvel and Star Wars themed products such as mini character statues, enamel pins, super stills, and blind-bagged bobble heads. Gentle Giant Toys will also introduce Tiny Tin Pocket Pails, which contain a matching thermos shaped eraser pencil topper in a tin blind box. Lastly, inspired by Fleet Flyers...

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