Author: Madeleine Buckley

‘Back to the Future’ Gets New Toys for 35th Anniversary

Fire up those DeLoreans because Back to the Future is having a big year. Starting today, Universal will celebrate the franchise’s 35th anniversary with a variety of products, events, and digital content. Among the products is a collection from new toy partner Playmobil. Launching in May, the collection features characters and vehicles from the series, including Marty McFly, Dr. Emmett Brown, and the DeLorean Time Machine. Today, Playmobil released an animated short to promote the line. Other toy collaborations for the anniversary include new Funko Pop! figures, a themed board game from Ravensburger, and other products (to be announced) from Hasbro,...

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Frozen Fan Fest Social Media Event Set to Reveal ‘Frozen 2’ Product

Tomorrow, Disney fans around the world can check out a simultaneous social media reveal of dozens of new products — including toys, apparel, accessories, footwear, costumes, bedding, home décor, electronics, books and more — inspired by the upcoming movie Frozen 2. More than 200 social media influencers from 30 countries are set post at the same time, using the hashtag #FrozenFanFest, to reveal merchandise from the animated, musical sequel. This is just the start of the Frozen Fan Fest event, which continues through this Friday, Oct. 4. (Which is also Triple Force Friday, for the Star Wars fans out there.) All of...

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NRF Reports Increased August Retail Sales, Warns of Tariff Risks

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), retail sales —including auto dealers, gas stations, and restaurants — increased by 4.6% in August when compared to the same month last year. Sales also increased by 0.4% from July (seasonally adjusted). The NRF didn’t provide specific data for toy stores, but the largest category of growth overall was online and other non-store retail sales. These increased by 14.3% year-over-year and by 1.6% month-over-month (seasonally adjusted). Grocery and beverage stores, clothing stores, sporting goods stores, and general merchandise stores were also among the categories that saw growth year-over-year. Furniture and home furnishing...

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Hasbro Reveals First Title in Cubby Hill Publishing Program

Hasbro partnered with Abrams Children’s Books to publish The Welcome Wagon: A Cubby Hill Tale, the first book in Hasbro’s Cubby Hill Publishing program. The Cubby Hill brand has been in development at Hasbro for several years. It features a community of bears, bunnies, hedgehogs, and other creatures that celebrates the values of inclusivity, imagination, and acceptance. For the first time, Hasbro will introduce the property through publishing, with additional entertainment and product releases to follow. The Welcome Wagon is scheduled to publish next year on March 3. Cori Doerrfeld will write and illustrate the book, which introduces readers to Cooper Cub,...

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Kids India Prepares to Launch with Diverse Exhibitor Portfolio

Kids India will open its doors for the seventh time later this month, taking place from Sept. 26-28 at the Bombay Convention & Exhibition Center in Mumbai. The fair will showcase approximately 160 Indian and international exhibitors, including more than 40% first-time exhibitors for the event. New exhibitors include Emotix, Playshifu, Skillmatics, and Smartivity. “India is the upcoming major manufacturing hub,” says Katharina Janotta, managing director of Spielwarenmesse India. “Every year at Kids India, we are witnessing more and more young start-ups from all over India presenting very innovative and quality products.” Kids India features special areas and activity zones to...

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Acamar Films, CBeebies Partner for New Season of ‘Bing’

London-based Acamar Films signed a content deal with the BBC for another season of its preschool property, Bing. With this deal, an additional 26 7-minute episodes are set to air on CBeebies and the BBC iPlayer starting on Oct. 31, following the launch of the new episodes on Acamar’s new Bing: Watch, Play, Learn app. The BBC also relicensed the original 78 episodes. Produced by Acamar Films in association with Dublin-based partner Brown Bag Films, the animated series follows Bing and his friends through preschool life. The new season features new voice actors: Rafferty Railton as Bing, David Threlfall as Flop, and Noah...

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Herschend Expands Leadership Team to Relaunch Chuggington

Herschend Entertainment Studios (HES) is expanding its leadership team to prepare for next year’s relaunch of the Chuggington children’s brand and the development of new intellectual property within the Herschend Enterprises family of companies. Natalie Setton joins HES as vice president of commercial, content distribution, and licensing. In this role, Setton leads all sales, licensing, marketing, retail support, live events, and location-based entertainment for HES’ properties. She will work alongside Julie Phillips, who serves as vice president of development and production and as an executive producer on the new season of Chuggington. Peter Schube, former president of The Jim Henson Co. and...

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