Author: Melanie Rainone

Lego Systems to Launch Quest2Ninjago Wu-Cru Team Challenge Summer Touring Competition

Lego Systems is hosting The Quest2Ninjago Wu-Cru Team Challenge, a traveling interactive competition visiting seven cities across the United States this summer. Based on the Lego Ningago property, the competition invites children ages 7 to 12 to conquer challenges and compete for a chance to be named a Quest2Ninjago champion. The winning team from each city will earn a spot as national finalists and receive an all-inclusive trip to LegoLand California Resort, home of the newly opened Ninjago World and Ninjago The Ride, where they will compete for the title and grand prize. The basketball-court-sized competition course, anchored by large-scale Lego brick models of two of the property’s characters, Master Wu and Lloyd, features four arenas—fire, lightning, energy, and earth—each containing two challenges. Kids will compete in teams of two, using their physical and mental ninja skills to make their way through eight timed challenges to earn points, including Element Tumbler Puzzle, Kai’s Laser Maze, Jay’s Lightning Maze, Mystery Tile Puzzle, Madness Mountain, and more. Contestants are encouraged to pre-register in advance of each stop by visiting The Quest2NinjaGo tour site (lego.com/Quest2ninjago), which includes a challenge course overview, rules and regulations, exact event times, and locations for each city. Walk-up contestants at each challenge stop will be accommodated on a first come, first served basis. The Quest2NinjaGo Wu-Cru Team Challenge Tour is scheduled to make the following stops: June...

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Hasbro Expands Program to Support Children with Development Disabilities

Hasbro’s ToyBox Tools program is expanding to include new tools, resources, and products. ToyBox Tools was an initiative launched in 2014 to promote play in children with developmental disabilities. The initiative’s expansion will also include a new website for children, their families, caregivers, and teachers. Hasbro has worked closely with The Autism Project to provide instructional videos, printed instructions, play-mats, and more for several of Hasbro’s brands in the hopes that play will be easier and more accessible for children. The news was announced at the autism and disabilities conference OCALICON, which took place November 18 to...

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Spielwarenmesse Introduces Online Matchmaking Service

Spielwarenesse eG is introducing a new matchmaking service to give exhibitors and attendees a new way to make business connections, contacts, and appointments. Visitors can use their matchmaking account to make appointments and receive contact suggestions that are individually tailored to their profile. The system allows exhibition participants to maintain existing business relationships and to find new business partners. All exhibitors can activate their free basic account on Spielwarenmesse’s online service center and can use the service to personalize their profile. With an upgrade, exhibitors can then contact buyers, resellers, and distributors directly and can make appointments with them. Every visitor can create a free premium account with the purchase of a ticket. Spielwarenmesse will take place in Nuremberg from January 27 to February 1, and will host approximately 2,800 exhibitors and more than 70,000 trade...

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Tiggly and Sesame Workshop Create New Educational App

Sesame Workshop and Tiggly released a new app, Sesame Street Alphabet Kitchen, which bridges the physical and digital play divide. Children can now play with Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster and their favorite Tiggly toys. With an engaging original storyline, new animated video developed specifically for the app, and tactile play enabled with Tiggly Words, the app is an engaging educational experience for young learners. Sesame Street Alphabet Kitchen will be available on November 26 for download on the Apple Store for $2.99 and available for free as part of the Tiggly Words Learning...

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ChiTAG Announces 2015 Toy & Game Inventor of the Year Award Winners

Industry colleagues and the public have selected winners for the eighth annual Toy & Game Inventor of the Year Awards. At this year’s storytelling-themed awards ceremony, excellence was recognized in the categories Toy Design, Game Design, Rising Star, Excellence in Game Design, Young Inventor, and Digital/Toy Game. A closeted jury of industry-based judges also chose the winners of the Hassenfeld Humanitarian Award, In Memoriam, and Lifetime Achievement Award. Mark Boudreaux, inventor of Star Wars Millennium Falcon, won Excellence in Toy Design; Laurie Peterson, designer of Malia’s Beach House, Marine Rescue Center, and more from Build & Imagine, won the Rising Star Designer Award; Elan Lee, Matthew Inman, and Shane Small, designers of Exploding Kittens, won Excellence in Game Design; Duncan and Hayden, inventors of Two Bros Bows, won the Young Inventor of the Year award; Adam Wilson and Ian Bernstein, inventors of Sphero’s BB-8, won Best Digital Toy or Game. The Hassenfeld Family Humanitarian Award will go to Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago; this year’s In Memoriam Award will honor Richard Knerr and Arthur “Spud” Melin, co-founders of Wham-O; and the Lifetime Achievement Award will go to Richard Maddocks, who started at Matchbox in 1971, became an independent inventor, and then Tiger Electronics and Hasbro, where he helped bring Furby and FurReal Friends to...

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Moose Toys to Auction off Shopkins Gemma Stone to Benefit TIF

Moose Toys is holding a charity auction for to kick off Cyber Monday. The one-of-a-kind Gemma Stone is the most rare Shopkins in the collection and was revealed at the North American International Toy Fair this past February. Fans will have a chance to bid on her from November 30 through December 6. All proceeds from the eBay auction will benefit the Toy Industry Foundation. Limited Edition Shopkins characters, normally retailing at $2.99, are already selling on eBay for upwards of $1,800. Bids for Gemma Stone are forecasted to be even higher. Fans interested in bidding on Gemma Stone...

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Laser Pegs Donates 1800 Sets to Kids Wish Network

The Kids Wish Network has received a donation of 1800 Laser Pegs kits that will be distributed through the charity’s Holiday of Hope gift-giving programs, reaching children suffering from homelessness, neglect, abuse, or illness. Laser Pegs Ventures hopes this donation will encourage imagination and innovation in children. Companies that manufactures or distributes toys, gifts, educational products, clothes, games, accessories, or electronics can contact Kids Wish Network’s Distribution Center to contribute to the Kids Wish Network...

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Things Remembered Teams Up with Melissa & Doug For Holiday Collection

Things Remembered has collaborated with Melissa & Doug to carry a line of personalized products, ranging from toys, games, and arts and crafts. Things Remembered will offer 10 items available for customization, including the Melissa & Doug Fire Truck, Stacking Train, Unit Block on Wheels, Alphabet Truck, Xylophone, and Wood School Bus Play Set. The collection at Things Remembered will range from $17 to $20 and is available in stores and...

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American Girl Launches “Together We Make the Holidays” Campaign

American Girl is launching several new charitable programs as part of its “Together We Make the Holidays” giving campaign. The first part of the campaign is “Get a Friend. Give a Friend,” where American Girl will match any 18-inch doll purchase with a second doll donation. Working with the Children’s Hospital Association, the doll donation will be distributed to thousands of girls receiving care in the Association’s 200 U.S. hospitals. This initial campaign will take place from November 6 to 30. Additionally, American Girl is asking fans to “bake a difference” through the company’s “For Goodness, Bake!” initiative in support of No Kid Hungry, a national anti-hunger campaign run by Share Our Strength. From November 1 to December 31, American Girl will match dollar for dollar  girls’ holiday bake sale proceeds to No Kid Hungry. Originally launched on January 1 to celebrate the 2015 Girl of the Year Grace, “For Goodness, Bake!” has raised more than $450,000. American Girl is also contributing to Today’s 22nd annual Holiday Toy Drive for the second consecutive year. On November 23, the brand will announce a donation of dolls and books worth half a million dollars. Fans are encouraged to share pictures and videos of their special American Girl holiday moments on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter using the hashtag...

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Hasbro Announces Finalists in Crowdfunding Gaming Challenge

Hasbro has announced the top five finalists in its search for a face-to-face party game. A team of Hasbro game experts and designers has narrowed the submissions down to five finalists, which are: Irresponsibility: The Mr Toast Card Game Irresponsibility is a fast paced, family friendly card game, created by Dan Goodsell featuring the comic character Mr Toast and his friends. In the game, you try to shirk responsibility by having fun being irresponsible, while also trying to stop your opponents by saddling them with more responsibility. HEXES!! HEXES!! is a card game of witches, warlocks and wacky wizardry, created by Rochester Institute of Technology students Douglas Mansell, Norman Greenberg, Sam Sternklar and Tom Smith. The goal is to stay in the game while following the rules on all the hexes your opponents sling at you, which could be as crazy as keeping your hand raised at all times while reciting facts about cats. Warning! Signs Warning! Signs, created by Jack Reda, that is all about making fun of the weird signs we’ve seen while traveling. Players pretend they are tourists in a strange land and don’t speak the language. To win the game, you have to make up the “best” or most outrageous captions for what different signs could mean in this strange land. Touchy Feely Touchy Feely, created by Kevin and Kory Jordan, is played completely in the dark. Once the lights go out, or the blindfold goes on, you...

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