Author: Marissa DiBartolo

People of Play Reveals 13th Annual TAGIE Awards Finalists

People of Play (formerly known as the Chicago Toy & Game Group) announced the finalists for the 13th annual Toy & Game International Excellence Awards (TAGIES). The TAGIES now feature eight categories and 80 nominees and honorees. The newest category for 2020 is the “Most Innovative Supplier of the Year.” This year’s awards are sponsored by Hasbro, The Michael Kohner Corporation, PlayMonster, Cartamundi, and Nexttoy. Check out all of the finalists below, and cast your vote by midnight on October 30.  Toy Inventor of the Year Bang Zoom Design for Rollin’ Rovee (Fisher-Price), Squeakee (Moose Toys), and Play-Doh Animal...

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Talkin’ Toys: Blue Marble Brings Quality to STEM Toys

The Toy Book chats with Jordan M. Willing, CEO of Blue Marble, about the company’s stand-out educational products. Toy Book: Why did you change your company name from JMW Sales to Blue Marble? Jordan M. Willing: I’ve been feeling now for a couple of years that our name didn’t represent the mission and values of what we were really bringing into the world, so we wanted to pick a new name, and we wanted that name to have significance. We picked Blue Marble because it’s a nod to the “Blue Marble” shot that the Apollo crew took in 1972....

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The Pokémon Co. Reveals Champion’s Path TCG Expansion

The Pokémon Co. International just revealed the next expansion for the Pokémon Trading Card Game (TCG), Champion’s Path, coming soon on September 25. With Champion’s Path, Pokémon Trainers can recreate their journey through the Galar region in the Pokémon TCG by collecting various pins featuring Gym logos as well as foil cards representing the partner Pokémon of each Gym Leader — similar to what they’d experience in the Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield video games. Key highlights from the set include 11 Pokémon V plus four full-art Pokémon V, three Pokémon VMAX, and one full-art Supporter card. Trainers will...

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Moose Toys’ Bluey Collection Arrives in the U.S.

Moose Toys‘ new Bluey collection of figures, playsets, and plush will soon be snagging plenty of Dollarydoos and Dollarbucks from families across the U.S. The full range debuts at Target stores later this month before expanding into mass retailers everywhere beginning August 1. Bluey is the sweetest kids’ show around, featuring a family of Australian pups who love to use their imaginations and spend quality time together. “Bluey was a runaway hit in Australia, and as fellow Aussies, Moose Toys is in a unique position to bring the magic of the show directly to U.S. fans with this special...

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Video Games Join Puzzles As Top-Selling Category Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

It’s not just puzzles and toilet paper that are hot, hot, hot. Video games are also in high demand during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to The NPD Group, March 2020 tracked spending across video game hardware, software, accessories, and game cards totaled $1.6 billion, showing a 35% increase compared to last year. This massive uptick marks the highest reported video game spend in March since the $1.8 billion achieved in 2008. With 42 states under stay-at-home orders in an effort to decrease the spread of the coronavirus, people suddenly have a need for more at-home entertainment than ever before,...

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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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