Author: Maddie Michalik

Global Licensing Group, Licensing International Launch Virtual Licensing Week

As global uncertainty has not waivered due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many industry events are being canceled, postponed, or are going virtual. Licensing Week Virtual is a new, weeklong event that will connect retailers, manufacturers, and the media together with the licensing business. The Global Licensing Group has partnered with Licensing International for the inaugural, online-only event, which will take place from June 15-19. While the event is not meant to replace Licensing Expo, which was postponed from June to August, it will complement the conference taking place from Aug. 11-13 and Brand Licensing Europe, which will take place...

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Mattel Launches Mega Recycling Program with TerraCycle

Mattel Inc. is taking one step closer to its sustainability efforts. The company today launched the Blocks and Bricks Recycling Program and entered a partnership with TerraCycle for consumers to recycle Mega Bloks, Mega Construx, and other non-electronic Mega toys to create new products in Canada. At no charge, consumers, including interested schools, offices, and community organizations, can send in their Mega toys to be recycled using prepaid shipping label. When received, TerraCycle will clean the blocks and bricks, melt them into hard plastic, and remold them to make new products from the recycled materials. New items include playgrounds, picnic...

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Magformers to Sponsor Young Inventor Challenge

A global pandemic can’t — and won’t — stop kids’ creative minds. This year, Magformers will join Mattel, ASTRA, and Scholastic in sponsoring the 15th annual Chicago Toy & Game Group‘s (ChiTAG) Young Inventor Challenge. Designed to be a platform for creative kids, the Young Inventor Challenge gives kids ages 6-18 a chance to produce and pitch original inventions to major toy companies and industry professionals, members of the media, general public, and more. The Magformers marketing team, including staff from both the U.S. and South Korea, will be judges for the competition. “The Young Inventor Challenge is an inspiring...

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Roybi Launches Companion Character to Coach Kids on Health, Self-Care Practices

Some toy companies are helping kids form healthy habits — and to stick to them. Today, Roybi Robot launched a patent-pending companion character named Docbi, a scientist friend that is designed to help kids stay in good health and high spirits during these unprecedented times. Using artificially intelligent technology, the Docbi character will be integrated into various lessons and interactive games on the original Roybi Robot to help kids practice good hygiene. Lessons include the importance of washing hands, eating veggies, and covering your mouth while sneezing. Developed with recommendations by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and...

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MGA Entertainment Delivers 65,000 Masks, Protective Shields to U.S. Hospitals

In just seven days since its launch, MGA Entertainment (MGAE)’s Operation Pac-Man initiative delivered medical supplies to 40 hospitals nationwide during the coronavirus pandemic. The parent company of L.O.L. Surprise! and Little Tikes started the non-profit organization Operation Pac-Man last week to manufacture and distribute medical supplies to facilities in dire need of them. The company delivered more than 65,000 surgical, N95, and KN95 masks and face shields to hospitals in the U.S. The organization is also supporting the 250-bed, makeshift hospital in the Los Angeles Convention Center. In addition, throughout the past week, the designers and engineers at MGAE and Little...

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LEGO, Nintendo Reveal Super Mario Expansion Sets

Mario is jumping out of Mushroom Kingdom and into the real world via LEGO bricks. With this Super Mario collaboration between LEGO and Nintendo, kids can collect virtual coins, run and jump across obstacles, and avoid the baddies like Bowser all with their very own LEGO Mario figure. Two new expansion sets were revealed today along with preorder information for The LEGO Super Mario Adventures with Mario Starter Course. With LEGO Super Mario, fans can build, play, and collect coins just like they would in the video games. They are fully in charge of creating the exact LEGO level course...

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Premium Bandai USA Releases Limited-Edition Figures

Premium Bandai USA, the newest division of Bandai Collectibles, just debuted 20 exclusive collectibles to North American fans for the first time. Until now, many of these rare and limited-edition releases were only available to the Japanese market. The exclusive online catalog has expanded to feature Bandai Spirits’ Tamashii Nations’ Dragon Ball S.H.Figuarts action figure line (pictured up top) and Bandai Hobby’s catalog of Gundam model kits (Gunpla). S.H.Figuarts are 5.5-inch figures that are designed to mimic the full range of motion of the human body. Gunpla is the common name for plastic models of mobile suits, mobile armor,...

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State of the Industry Q&A 2020: Target

Nik Nayar, senior vice president, hardlines of Target Corp., shared what some of the company’s most-popular toy categories were last holiday season, expanded plans for the year, and more in the Toy Book‘s annual State of the Industry Q&A. Last year, Target offered an expanded assortment of more than 10,000 toys. In what ways will your brick-and-mortar locations evolve this year? As we continue to add and curate our toy assortment, we are always exploring new ways to further connect with our guests based on trends and their direct feedback. What we’ve found is that our stores serve as a...

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State of the Industry Q&A 2020: The Toy Association

In the Toy Book‘s annual State of the Industry Q&A, The Toy Association’s President and CEO Steve Pasierb addressed a number of issues facing the toy industry, including a resolution to tariffs, counterfeit toys, and more. What are the biggest challenges facing the toy industry as we head into the year, and how is The Toy Association addressing them? No. 1 is reaching a resolution to the tariff war. Though a phase-one trade deal has been signed, unpredictability continues to linger, and earlier rounds of tariffs continue impacting toymakers. There are a host of state and local regulatory threats that...

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