Author: Marissa DiBartolo

DC Collectibles Debuts Lucha Libre Figures and More for Toy Fair

DC Collectibles revealed a brand-new line of premium collectible figures that blends the world of Lucha Libre with iconic DC characters. Each 7–inch action figure is a Latin American-inspired reimagining of a DC superhero or villain, complete with a unique character backstory rooted in Mexico’s rich cultural history. Fans can create epic storylines while battling with the first wave of figures inspired by Batman, Deathstroke, Superman, Metallo II, Wonder Woman, and the Cheetah. The figures will be available in August. DC Collectibles also announced DC Prime, a new premium-grade, 9-inch action-figure line brought to life by artist Riccardo Federici and...

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Hasbro, Sony Collaborate for a Transformers/Ghostbusters Mashup

What happens when two iconic brands share a 35th anniversary? A must-have collectible. Ahead of Toy Fair New York, Hasbro and Sony Pictures Consumer Products revealed the first Transformers–Ghostbusters collaborative figure, the Ecto-1 Ectotron, available at GameStop this summer. Fans can preorder the figure now at HasbroPulse.com and GameStop. This year marks the 35th anniversary of both the Transformers brand and the original Ghostbusters film. Meet Ectotron, a converting Paranormal Investigator. The figure is packed in a G1-inspired box featuring classic tech specs, and it comes with its own proton pack and Slimer accessory. It also converts between two modes in 22 steps — a...

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Disney To Release Star Wars, Frozen 2 Products in Epic Retail Event on Oct. 4

Toy Fair New York will showcase thousands of toys from more than 1,000 toy makers—but toys inspired two of Disney’s most anticipated films of the year won’t be among them. 2019 marks a banner year for Disney, with multiple live-action remakes of Disney classic films, conclusions to the Avengers (as we now know them) and the Skywalker Saga, and the long awaited sequel to Frozen. And with great movies, comes great toys and merchandise. Products inspired by Star Wars: Episode IX and Disney’s Frozen 2 will hit retail shelves around the world on Oct. 4, marking Disney’s first-ever, global simultaneous rollout...

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Nintendo Reveals New Console with Detachable Controllers, Portable Gameplay

Nintendo released an introductory video today featuring its new home gaming system formerly known as the Nintendo NX. Set for release in March, the brand new, innovative Nintendo Switch system features a dock that connects the system to a TV for play at home, or it can be lifted from the dock and taken on the go. A vast upgrade from both the Wii U and the portable 3DS consoles, the Switch features a bright, high-definition display. The portability of the new console is exactly what fans have been waiting for, and extends the gaming experience to wherever players are, with just one console. The new system features removable Joy-Con controllers that snap on to either side of the Switch screen. Gamers can splat, smash, and race with the Joy-Con controllers in place, or remove them, prop the Switch up on a flat surface with the kickstand, and play with one controller in each hand. Or, flip the Joy-Con controllers horizontally and hand one off to a friend for two-player gaming; slip them into a Joy-Con Grip accessory, and create a more traditional controller experience; or abandon the Joy-Con controllers and grab a new Nintendo Switch Pro Controller to use instead. The Switch platform features at least five controller options based on the three-minute clip we’ve seen so far. Developers are already on board and working on games that are...

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The New Flavor of Activity Toys

Mom was wrong: apparently, it’s more than OK to play with your food. Since the inception of Kenner Toys’ Easy-Bake Oven in 1963, kids have been expressing their creativity in the kitchen by baking up miniature sweet treats. And while the Easy-Bake Oven is one of the most iconic toys ever made, inducted into the Toy Hall of Fame in 2006, new toys that let kids make and decorate real, edible foods are eating up shelf space like never before. Culinary Kids In the ’60s, the Easy-Bake Oven was largely marketed toward girls, but with male chefs like Bobby...

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Coloring Outside the Age Lines

Coloring books are integral to kids’ creative development, with thousands of titles featuring thick black outlines of cartoon characters, just waiting to be scribbled on, torn out, and hung on the refrigerator. But kids aren’t the only ones showing off their creativity with coloring books. Specialty retailers such as Michaels and Barnes and Noble are stocking the shelves with dozens of titles designed with adults in mind. Instead of simple images of Queen Elsa from Disney Frozen or snuggly puppies with lolling tongues, adult coloring books feature intricate geometric patterns, natural scenery, and even some characters based on mature...

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Fourth Annual HoliDAY of Play Lets Adults Be Kids Again

The Toy Insider, in partnership with Woman’s Day magazine, hosted the fourth annual HoliDAY of Play event on Friday, October 16, where more than 100 digital influencers and members of the press met face-to-face with some of the top companies in the toy industry to get hands-on experience with the best toys on the market. Guests were treated to a gourmet brunch while enjoying sweeping views of New York City during this exclusive 2.5-hour event. Toy Insider Mom Laurie Schacht greeted guests with the one and only Darth Vader, reinforcing the strength of the Star Wars force this year. Schacht then gave guests a full presentation on the Toy Insider’s Hot 20, Top Tech 12, and STEM 10 picks, as well as the top toy trends of 2015, which include: Character Craze: Thanks to the upcoming launch of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, characters will play an even bigger role in the toy box than ever before, From interactive figures like Spin Master’s Legendary Yoda and Thinkway Toy’s 16-inch Darth Vader, toHasbro’s entire line of amazing role-play fun, these toys are easily the hottest of the year. Additional characters that will continue to be mega popular among kids are DisneyFrozen’s Elsa, the pups from Paw Patrol, and new adorable dinos from Disney•Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur. #LifeGoals: There are lots of toys on the shelves that will inspire kids to decide what they want to be when they grow up. VTech’s new line of Flipsies dolls transform from...

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Judy Basis, Licensing Industry Force, Passes Away

Judy Basis passed away Saturday, August 22, 2015. She battled cancer for more than 30 years. Basis was a force in the licensing industry. She helped shape the way business takes place when she and her partner Harvey Stern launched The Licensing Book back in 1983 (Editor’s note: Both The Toy Book and The Licensing Book are owned by Adventure Publishing Group). Industry veterans will remember her as someone they could count on for sound advice (both business and personal), and as an essential partner in growing their businesses when the licensing business was still in its infancy. Donations...

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Warner Bros., DC Entertainment, and Mattel Unveil New All-Girl Superhero Franchise

This fall, DC Entertainment, Warner Bros. Animation, Warner Bros. Consumer Products, and Mattel will launch DC Super Hero Girls, a new universe of female-dominated superheroes and villains. The new franchise targets girls ages 6 to 12 and features DC Comics’ female characters as relatable teens, including Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Batgirl, Harley Quinn, Bumble Bee, Poison Ivy, and Katana. With a completely new artistic style and aesthetic, these female icons will make their unprecedented teenage introduction. Each character will have her own storyline, including discovering her unique abilities, nurturing her remarkable powers, and mastering the fundamentals of being a hero. The initial launch of DC Super Hero Girls will include an immersive digital experience, original digital content, and digital publishing—providing opportunities for girls to interact with characters, learn about the storylines, and engage in customizable play. TV specials, made-for-videos, toys, apparel, books, and other product categories will begin to roll out next year. As master toy licensee, Mattel is set to launch a toy line based on the new initiative next year, including new characters for the action figure category, and fashion dolls featuring strong, athletic bodies that stand on their own in heroic poses. As master publishing partner, the Random House Books for Young Readers imprint of Random House Children’s Books will launch books next spring, which will be complemented by a series of original graphic novels from DC Entertainment. The Lego Group has also signed on for...

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Toys “R” Us to Close Times Square Flagship Store

Toys “R” Us chose not to renew its lease at the 110,000-square-foot flagship store in the Times Square area, according to a report by the Commercial Observer (CO). “They have 21,000 square feet [on the ground floor]. There really is not a tenant that can rent that. The market has just escalated so,” Brad Mendelson of Cushman & Wakefield, who is marketing the Toys “R” Us space at 1514 Broadway between West 44 and West 45 Streets on behalf of landlord Charles Moss, tells the CO. According to Mendelson, the asking rent on the ground floor in the 150,000-square-foot building is $2,500 per square foot, $150 per foot on the lower level, and $350 a foot on the second floor. Toys “R” Us is paying about half that since commencing to rent at the location in 2000. Mendelson says the firm is looking for multiple tenants to fill the space. Toys “R” Us will vacate the space next February. The store has become a popular Times Square attraction, featuring a life-sized Jurassic Park-inspired T-Rex, a 60-foot indoor Ferris wheel featuring kids’ favorite cartoon characters, a 4,000-square-foot Barbie dollhouse, and—of course—thousands of toys. However, the toy retail giant may retain a presence in the hub of New York City. Rumors suggest Toys “R” Us may be moving to Vornado Realty Trust’s large retail space at the base of the Marriott Marquis at 1535...

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