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Table of contents

February 2010 volume 5, no. 3

features 32 Purchase in a Flash by Nancy Lombardi

34 news out of Hong Kong: bring on 2010 by Christopher Byrne

36 The industry responds to the cPsiA by Chris Adams

38 specialty Manufacturers Assess state of industry by Chris Adams

44 specialty store owners Describe the Lay of the Land by Chris Adams

46 An exclusive Look at Toy story by Nancy Lombardi

48 Toy Fair 2010 exclusives by Nancy Lombardi

50 A MegA celebration: interview with vic bertrand by Nancy Lombardi

52 Toy Fair 2010 compiled by Laurie Leahey and Paul Narula

112 Film Preview compiled by Chris Adams

116 Specialty Emporium: bsW Toy by Laurie Leahey

departments

on this page

6 observations & opinions

(left to right): International Playthings’ iPlay My First Baby Doll, Fisher-Price’s Imaginext Big Foot the Monster, Jakks Pacific’s Taylor Swift Fashion Collection Doll, LEGO’s Construct a Buzz, and Mattel’s Polly Pocket Tropical Splash Adventure Playset

8 sizzlers 10 specialty sizzlers 12 The Ticker 14 Merchandise Makers: Schleich 16 concept to consumer: Funhub 18 entertainment Marketplace: Thomas & Friends 20 industry Forum: Gameplan Europe 22 industry Forum: ASTRA 24 industry Forum: Design Edge 26 industry Forum: Toy Industry Foundation 28 store check: Harbour City, Hong Kong 118 you’re Hired 120 calendar of events

on the cover This is the first look at Lotso Bear, who is a key character in Toy Story 3. cover by

Design eDge


Perplexus is a can’t-put-down challenge! Flip, twist and spin Perplexus to move the ball along the numbered path working with and against gravity. Fun for the whole family with over 100 barriers to master.

Visit us at The New York Toy Fair Booth# 1663A PlaSmart Inc. Toll Free tel: 1-877-289-0730 Email:sales@plasmacar.com www.plasmarttoys.com www.perplexus.net


OBSERVATIONS & OPINIONS

WWW.ANBMEDIA.COM

Confused. . . Yet Optimistic BY

BOB GLASER

nother holiday selling season has come and gone. As of this writing, in mid-January, I’m still trying to process all the sales results from the fourth quarter, as well as the whole of 2009. Earlier this month, Toys “R” Us released sales figures for the fourth quarter happily announcing that comparable same store sales were up. MasterCard also released sales numbers for Q4 2009 stating a 3.6 percent increase in sales for 2009 when compared with 2008. However, the industry people I spoke with argued some of these numbers. Some said that things seemed better in 2009 because 2008 was so bad that results had nowhere to go but up. Many others pointed out that things seemed better because there was an additional shopping day in 2009 versus 2008. I have never been able to quite grasp that concept. In my opinion if a shopper is going to buy a gift, especially for a child, what difference does it make how many shopping days there are between Thanksgiving and Christmas? Does one less shopping day mean you’ll have no presents to hand out on Christmas morning? Yet I have also been reading numbers that report the opposite of all this seemingly good news. I recently read an article while commuting to work that stated retail sales showed a steep drop in calendar 2009. The Commerce Department reported a 0.3 percent decline for December 2009 compared with November 2009 and that sales plummeted 6.2 percent for the entire year. Trying to figure out all these numbers and percentages is giving me a headache. I’ve decided to ignore all these numbers. I am going to evaluate the state of the toy industry as I have been doing for many years now—by talking to trusted industry professionals. Everybody involved in the toy industry knows that the past few years have been tough. We don’t need conflicting sales reports to confirm this. Yet, the general mood among people I’ve been speaking with has been positive. A prevailing sentiment in conversations is that we have weathered the worst and we are now stuck in a holding pattern of positive economic news. Media reports say that the economy has not just stabilized, but is growing once again. The media says we are just waiting for the good times to start rolling again. As far as I am concerned, it can’t happen soon enough. This month the toy industry convenes once again in New York City for Toy Fair. As I’ve stated in this space previously regarding Toy Fair, it’s always an exciting time to watch the industry begin again. I am confident that the toy industry will do its part to help drive the American economic machine through the introduction of innovative new products. Enjoy the show.

A

6 TOYS & FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT FEBRUARY 2010

PUBLISHED

BY ANB

MEDIA • Volume 5, Number 3

PUBLISHER BOB GLASER BOB@ANBMEDIA.COM ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER ANDY KRINNER ANDY@ANBMEDIA.COM ADVERTISING MANAGER AMY LAND AMY@ANBMEDIA.COM CONTROLLER MARY GROGAN MARY@ANBMEDIA.COM EDITOR IN CHIEF JIM SILVER JIM@ANBMEDIA.COM EDITORIAL DIRECTOR NANCY LOMBARDI NANCY@ANBMEDIA.COM MANAGING EDITOR CHRIS ADAMS CHRISA@ANBMEDIA.COM EDITOR AT LARGE CHRISTOPHER BYRNE CHRISB@ANBMEDIA.COM ASSISTANT EDITORS LAURIE LEAHEY; LAURIE@ANBMEDIA.COM PAUL NARULA; PAUL@ANBMEDIA.COM WEB MASTER ERIK KIECKHAFER ERIK@ANBMEDIA.COM WEB CONTENT MANAGER BRENDAN SANABRIA BRENDAN@ANBMEDIA.COM CONTRIBUTORS ANDREW DOBBIE; KATHLEEN MCHUGH; MARISA MEDINA; MARK NUCCIO; MATT NUCCIO, MATT@DESIGNEDGE.NET HONG KONG REPRESENTATIVE TONY LEE SMART REGENT PRODUCTIONS LTD., 66–72 STANLEY STREET, ROOM 603, KAI TAK COMMERCIAL BUILDING, CENTRAL HONG KONG PHONE: 2815 0166 • FAX: 2815 6911 • SREGENT@NETVIGATOR.COM PUBLIC RELATIONS REPRESENTATIVE JOSSLYNNE WELCH LITZKY PUBLIC RELATIONS, 320 SINATRA DRIVE, HOBOKEN, N.J. 07030 (201) 222–9118 EXT. 13 • JWELCH@LITZKYPR.COM INTERESTED IN A SUBSCRIPTION? CONTACT SUBSCRIPTIONS@ANBMEDIA.COM ANB MEDIA, INC. 229 WEST 28TH STREET, SUITE 401, NEW YORK, N.Y. 10001 PHONE: (646) 763–8710 • FAX: (646) 763–8727 TOYS & FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT and SPECIALTY EMPORIUM are published monthly by aNb Media, Inc. Copyright 2010 aNb Media, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or

transmitted in any form, or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording,

or any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the publisher. Printed in the U.S.A. TOYS & FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT and SPECIALTY EMPORIUM are registered trade-

marks of aNb Media, Inc. Opinions and comments expressed in this publication by editors, contributing writers, or solicited or unsolicited documents are not necessarily those of management.


Get into the Fun!

TM

TM

© 2009 Hit Entertainment Limited and Keith Chapman. © 2009 Gullane (Thomas) Limited

© 1976, 2010 SANRIO CO., LTD. © copyright 2009 Viacom Inc © 2009 Lyons Partnership, L.P.


SIZZLERS

Sizzlers: What’s Moving Off Store Shelves? What Are the Hottest Web Orders? Here is an alphabetical listing of the hottest-selling items in the toy industry, based on a combined survey of both offline and online retailers, reflecting the previous month’s sales. Barbie & The Three Musketeers Corinne Doll

Hyper Dash Matchbox Mega Rig Pirate Ship Building System

Transformers figure Bumblebee

EyeClops

BAKUGAN 7

1 FIGURE ASSORTMENT Spin Master

IN

BARBIE & THE THREE MUSKETEERS DOLL ASSORTMENT Mattel BIG BUCK HUNTER PRO PLUG ’N PLAY Jakks Pacific CHUCK MY TALKING TRUCK Hasbro DISNEY’S THE PRINCESS & THE FROG: JUST ONE KISS PRINCESS TIANA DOLL Mattel

8 TOYS & FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT FEBRUARY 2010

EYECLOPS NIGHT VISION INFRARED STEALTH BINOCULARS Jakks Pacific HYPER DASH Wild Planet LEGO STAR WARS ASSORTMENT LEGO MATCHBOX MEGA RIG PIRATE SHIP BUILDING SYSTEM Mattel

NERF N-STRIKE RAIDER Hasbro SCRABBLE SLAM Hasbro SCRIBBLE & WRITE LeapFrog TRANSFORMERS FIGURE ASSORTMENT Hasbro ZHU ZHU PETS & ACCESSORIES Cepia



SPECIALTY SIZZLERS

Specialty Sizzlers: What’s Moving Off Store Shelves in the Specialty Market? This is an alphabetical listing of the hottest-selling items in the specialty segment of the toy industry, based on a survey of independent toy and gift retailers, reflecting the previous month’s sales.

BANANAGRAMS Bananagrams CALICO CRITTERS ASSORTMENT International Playthings Gertie Bumpie Ball

GERTIE BUMPIE BALL Small World Toys GROCERY CART Melissa & Doug JR. ASTRONAUT HELMET Aeromax ICE CREAM PARLOR Melissa & Doug

Bananagrams

MAGFORMERS Rainbow Products MAGNA-TILES Valtech

Jr. Astronaut Helmet

SKUUT Diggin Active SPIFFY SPA Alex Toys

10 TOYS & FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT FEBRUARY 2010

Calico Critters



THE TICKER

A Recap of Industry Headlines Visit www.aNbMedia.com for More DISCOVERY AND HASBRO CREATE THE HUB Discovery Communications-Hasbro Joint Venture president and CEO Margaret Loesch announced that the network will be known as The Hub and will reach approximately 60 million homes on what is currently known as the Discovery Kids network. Discovery and Hasbro share a 50/50 partnership in the venture. The Hub will incorporate Hasbro properties, including Transformers and My Little Pony, and Discovery Kids franchises such as Adventure Camp and Flight 29 Down as part of a diverse and robust lineup of original and acquired programming. The Hub’s online home, hubworld.com, will become an entertainment destination in its own right, offering kids access to video clips, interactive games and community features that extend the experience of the network’s content.

MEGA BRANDS INITIATES RECAPITALIZATION TRANSACTION MEGA Brands, Inc., announced a recapitalization transaction where it noted the following key points: • Immediate balance sheet improvement through debt reduction moving from approximately $430 million to $131 million. • Annual interest expenses to be reduced by more than 65 percent from an estimated $43 million in 2009 to approximately $13 million going forward excluding asset-based credit facility utilization. • Business as usual for employees, suppliers, and customers, who will not be affected by the recapitalization transaction. • Elimination of all financial covenants. • Commitment of a $50 million asset-based facility, with an availability block of $5 million, from Wachovia Capital Finance Corporation (Central) and Wachovia Capital Finance Corporation (Canada). • Improved cash flow and liquidity to fund operations and investment in innovation. • Significant injection of new capital through a CDN$100 million bought deal financing led by GMP Securities and a $121 million private placement to Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd., certain Trimark mutual funds, the company’s chairman, Victor Bertrand Sr.; its CEO, Marc Bertrand; and its CIO Vic Bertrand. The new capital structure resulting from the recapitalization transaction creates financial stability for MEGA Brands and its stakeholders. It also provides a stronger financial base for the execution of the company’s operating strategy going forward with improved cash flow and liquidity from reduced interest expenses to fund operations and investment in innovation. Closing is expected to occur by the end of March. The corporation’s suppliers, as well as its obligations to employees, are unaffected by the recapitalization transaction and will continue to be paid or satisfied in the ordinary course.

PLAYMATES TO CREATE MICHAEL JACKSON COLLECTIBLE MEMORABILIA Bravado has completed an agreement with Playmates Toys whereby it will create a signature line of figures and dolls featuring the likeness of Michael Jackson. His incomparable style comes to life as Playmates rolls out an authentic collection replicating iconic images featuring Michael Jackson’s dance poses, music, and embellished fashions. The first wave is expected to launch this year.

12 TOYS & FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT FEBRUARY 2010


THQ, WWE, JAKKS REACH SETTLEMENT AGREEMENTS THQ, Inc., World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc., and Jakks Pacific, Inc., recently announced that they have reached settlement agreements with respect to the WWE video game and toy licenses and the THQ/Jakks Pacific LLC joint venture. Under the three-party settlement, all claims are withdrawn and all litigation ended among the parties without any party admitting any wrongdoing. As part of the resolution of these matters, THQ will pay WWE $13.2 million. In addition, THQ has entered into a new eight-year video game license directly with WWE, which commenced January 1, 2010, which is three years longer than the renewal term under the previous arrangement between WWE and the THQ/Jakks Pacific LLC joint venture. In addition to its preferred return payment to Jakks for the period ending December 31, 2009, THQ will pay Jakks Pacific $20 million over the next four years, with payments of $6 million due June 2010 and June 2011, and payments of $4 million due June 2012 and June 2013, and the THQ/Jakks Pacific LLC joint venture terminated effective December 31, 2009.

WHAM-O TO MAKE FRISBEE IN THE U.S. Wham-O announced that it’s bringing back 50 percent of Frisbee production to the United States. Production is set to begin at the end of this month through a partnership with Manufacturing Marvel America, a division of Manufacturing Marvel Group, that specializes in plastic injection molding for toys and operates facilities in California and Michigan.

DISNEY STORE TO OPEN IN TIMES SQUARE Disney Store will transform an expansive retail space in the heart of New York’s Times Square into a state-of-the-art, interactive retail destination scheduled to open this fall. The lease signed with Vornado Realty Trust, negotiated by RCS Real Estate Advisors, and brokered by SRS Real Estate Partners secured the location at 1540 Broadway, between 45th and 46th streets. The newly designed Disney Store will facilitate interactive play and imagination and host children’s activities, special events, and celebrity appearances. Over the next five years Disney Store plans to strategically balance its retail portfolio, enter new markets, and transform more than 300 locations across the U.S. and Europe to feature the new design.

LIMA OPENS HONG KONG OFFICE The International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA) announced the opening of its Hong Kong office. Seasoned licensing executive Tani Wong has been appointed managing director. The opening of LIMA Hong Kong brings the total number of LIMA offices to six. The other offices are located in New York City (which serves as the headquarters), London, Tokyo, Munich, and Shanghai.

FEBRUARY 2010 TOYS & FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT 13


MERCHANDISE MAKERS

WORLDS OF WONDER BY

PAUL NARULA

oday, Schleich is a company known worldwide as a manufacturer of realistic animal and historical figurines and a creator of fantasy play worlds for children and collectors of all ages. The company’s products are distributed and sold by retailers in France, the United Kingdom, and North America, as well as its home country of Germany. However, this has not always been the case. When Friedrich Schleich founded the company in 1935, Schleich was not a wellknown name in the industry. It was not until the late 1950s, when the company obtained the licensing rights to brands such as the Smurfs and Charles Schulz’s Peanuts (specifically Snoopy) that Schleich began making an impact with its high-quality figurines. Since its inception, Schleich has expanded its licensed products and created its own original product lines. With both types of products, Schleich has stayed true to its

T

The Schleich Plane

core concepts. “The company wants to foster children’s imaginative play worldwide and contribute to their intellectual development in a natural and innocent way,” says Mary Ludovico, marketing director of Schleich North America. Every Schleich

14 TOYS & FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT FEBRUARY 2010

toy is extensively tested Still, the company’s at the company’s craft most popular line and production centers remains its Wildlife in Germany and line, which features Schleich consults parrealistic animals from ents, teachers, and around the globe. children through “Schleich has animals every step of the process. from almost every corThe company takes great ner of the Earth, including pains to keep products based on the majestic lions, the cheeky real-life animals and people chimpanzee, and the scary (such as its Historical and crocodile,” says Ludovico. Farm Life lines) as In addition, the company conaccurate to the origitinues to expand its nal as it can. Its fantasy Schleich has a wide variety of fantasy figurines, licensed Smurf figsuch as this fairy from the World of Elves line. products are given the ures, adding new same attention to detail. “Children and par- playsets, vehicles, and figures each year. ents recognize Schleich as a premium brand Smurfs have proven to be a consistently for original play worlds and the Schleich strong brand for Schleich, helping “provide ‘S’ is recognized as a guarantee of quality, an entryway to collecting” for the compasafety, and high educational standards,” ny’s other products, according to Ludovico. says Ludovico. Schleich also prides itself This year marks Schleich’s 75th on creating products that are accessible to anniversary and the company is still children of any nationality, thanks to the going strong, releasing new products. attention to detail the products receive and This year will see the release of the new the instinctive nature of figure play. One of Arelan product line, a new tribe of figthe company’s key mottos is “A tiger is a urines for the Bayala world. Schleich will tiger on every continent.” also be introducing the Schleich Plane for Schleich currently offers approximately its Wildlife collection, as a way for chil500 figurines and accessories across the dren to represent flying from one end of world, spanning a wide variety of product the world to the other to discover exotic lines. The company’s Bayala collection is a animals. The company will continue to fantasy-based series, combining elves, add three new product launches every dragons, unicorns, and more to create an in- year, giving fans and collectors more depth roleplaying experience for children. choices. “Schleich today is as modern and Schleich also produces a series of historical alive as it was in its earliest days,” says figurines, including The World of Knights Ludovico, “and it still appeals to children and The World of the American Frontier. as much as it did then.”



CONSUMER TO

CONCEPT

FUN

ON

EVERY FRONT

or most people, 2007 was not the year to start a new company, let alone do so without any outside investment or loans. Yet that is exactly what the founders of Funhub Creative did. Steve Hart, Jim Dixon, Brian and Angela Compton, and Karen Donahue, all former employees of Front Porch Classics prior to the company’s acquisition by Sababa Toys, pooled their experience and their resources to found Funhub, a full-service product development studio, specializing in game design. The company is devoted to providing high-end design service and creating products that produce a “wow” effect in players that goes beyond the gameplay. Many games lack the ability to carry a consumer’s interest beyond the board. “It has to be about extending the entertainment experience,” says Hart, cofounder of Funhub Creative. Funhub uses its management’s experience to provide a number of services to publishers and inventors, as well as retailers and distributors looking to create original products or branded lines. The company has worked with Discovery Bay Games, LMD Enterprises, Sababa, and Front Porch BY

PAUL NARULA

F

Telepathy, from LMD Enterprises, was the first product that Funhub Creative worked on.

16 TOYS & FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT FEBRUARY 2010

Classics. Each member of the team brings a different aspect of expertise to Funhub’s work. Hart brings his experience with all aspects of the business from holding multiple positions in Front Porch Classics. At Funhub, he handles details such as conceptualizing

The Octopi Games series is Funhub’s first selfdesigned and self-published product line.

products, gameplay development, and marketing. Dixon brings his skill as a designer to help produce tactile game elements and packaging. The Comptons both do most of the illustrative and artistic work. Donahue acts as the legal counsel for the company and helps with logistical matters. In addition, much of Funhub’s management does share experience in each other’s fields, allowing them to collaborate on any given project. In addition, Funhub can use that combined experience to take a significant amount of workload away from its clients, which allows them to expand the scope of their services. “Many design companies will work exclusively with publishers or inventors, but we’ll work with factories and retailers to put product on the shelf,” says Hart. Funhub can find or provide any of the services a client needs to bring a game to the shelf. If a retailer is

looking to fill a gap on its shelves with its own products, Funhub can help it design that product and find a manufacturer for it. If a factory wants to create its own brand, Funhub can help it with the necessary concept and design elements. “We understand every aspect of the business,” says Hart. While the majority of Funhub’s projects are licensed to other companies, the company has created its own game line as well, called Octopi Games. The game series has been on sale exclusively at Barnes & Noble bookstores. Each game in the Octopi Game series comes with a plush octopus that has space in its head to store dice and game pieces for a dice game. The addition of a plush toy adds a new dimension to the product, matching Funhub’s philosophy of extending the enjoyment of a game past the gameplay itself. “Most collectible game products direct you to an online activity,” says Hart, “but this is made to encourage the family to play face to face.” Though getting Funhub Creative rolling without any outside help has been a challenge, Hart and his colleagues are happy about the way their company has developed. Their long-term goal is to establish Funhub as a go-to creative house for publishers, retailers, and factories. The company is already looking into expanding its reach into the gift category. As far as the company’s own product lines are concerned, Octopi Game distribution has opened up this year and the company is waiting to see what develops. “We did it all ourselves, picking ourselves up by our own bootstraps, and things have really picked up,” says Hart. “We’re looking forward to this year.”



ENTERTAINMENT MARKETPLACE

HIT ENTERTAINMENT

BY LAURIE LEAHEY

n 1943, when his son Christopher was Thomas the Tank Engine was the first engine to be illustrated with a confined to bed with the measles, the number (No. 1) in the original books. Rev. Wilbert Awdry kept his son entertained with stories about steam engines. Awdry had no intention of publishing his stories. He just wrote them down on scraps of paper for family use. But after much persistence from his wife, Awdry brought his stories to a publisher and in 1945 The Three Railway Engines was published by Edmund Ward. Thomas the Tank Engine was published the following year and Awdry wrote a new book every year until his 26th and final story Tramway Engines came out in 1972. Christopher Awdry took over the family business in 1983 and began writing new Thomas books, 14 in all. Thomas made the jump from books to TV when Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends debuted on Britain’s ITV television in 1984. In 1989, the series began airing in the U.S. on PBS. It wasn’t long before the show reached viewers in Canada, Japan, and Germany, with a total of 130 countries now airing the Thomas & Friends series. This year marks Thomas the Tank Engine’s 65th anniversary and HIT Entertainment is debuting new online and home entertainment content, licensing and marketing and retail partnerships, and live events. A new series of Thomas & Friends will premiere on PBS in the U.S. Now produced in CGI animation, Thomas & Friends is more vibrant, detailed, and engaging. For the first time, Thomas and his engine friends speak in their own voices (instead of in the narrator’s voice), allowing them to tell their own stories. New characters include Japanese engine Hiro, Victor and Kevin from Sodor Steamworks, and the mischievous steam engine Charlie. HIT will also release the new CG-animated Misty Island Rescue on DVD this fall. Licensed product from new licensees (including Fisher-Price and MEGA Brands), as well as long-time partners (such as Learning Curve and Random House) will incorporate the look and themes of the new show, as well as the classic Thomas look to commemorate everyHiro, introduced on DVD last year, is the first Japanese engine on one’s favorite blue engine.

I

the Island of Sodor.

18 TOYS & FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT FEBRUARY 2010

NEED

TO

KNOW

• Thomas the Tank Engine was not part of the Rev. Wilbert Awdry’s first book. Thomas was introduced in the second book.

• The railway that inspired Awdry’s first stories was the Great Western Line from Paddington to Bristol. • More than 80 million pieces of wooden track, or approximately 3,788 miles, have been sold globally. This is the equivalent of the distance from New York to Paris. • The Thomas replica engine that travels to Day Out With Thomas events weighs as much as three male elephants, about 18 tons.

• One Thomas Wooden Railway engine has been sold every eight seconds for the past 16 years. • More than 200 million Thomas books have been sold worldwide since 1945.




FISHER-PRICE

New global toy partner Fisher-Price will celebrate the brand’s 65th anniversary with a new collection of track sets, playsets, and preschool toys. The ToteA-Train Playbox Carrier lets kids take Thomas and the other engines on the go. The playbox features a sculpted Thomas as the front of the box. The back opens to reveal a molded track with a crossing gate and it has connections compatible with other playsets.

LEARNING CURVE

Learning Curve’s Thomas Wooden Railway Early Engineers Line offers kids as young as 18 months their first stop in train play. The Early Engineers Line features larger engines that are perfect for small hands, track tiles that provide secure layouts, and simple-to-use destinations. The Early Engineers Line is compatible with the rest of the Thomas Wooden Railway, so kids can easily expand and add to their Thomas Wooden Railway line. Shown is the Roundabout Station Set, which includes a Thomas engine, two destinations, a track tile, and two accessories.

AMERICAN GREETINGS

The Thomas & Friends party goods collection from DesignWare by American Greetings includes traditional party goods as well as favors, such as whistles, lenticular zipper pulls, rubber bracelets, and a guest-of-honor ribbon for the birthday boy or girl. There will be a full array of party supplies and decorations, greeting cards, invitations, stickers, gift packaging, and seasonal items.

RANDOM HOUSE

Random House will publish special Thomas & Friends titles, including a re-release of the classic Happy Birthday Thomas (U.S. and Canada). In addition, a full line of new releases is set to coincide with the release of Misty Island Rescue this fall.

UPPER DECK

This summer, Upper Deck Entertainment will introduce the Thomas & Friends Sodor Adventures Collectipak. Featuring pop-up cards and stickers, the Collectipak is an easy-to-learn game where players journey around Sodor and help Thomas and his friends get back to Sodor Station.

GLOBAL DESIGN CONCEPTS

Global Design Concepts will bring Thomas & Friends backpacks and accessories to the mass and midtier market. New products include backpacks, rolling backpacks, drawstring backpacks, lunch packs, and rolling pilot cases.

FEBRUARY 2010 TOYS & FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT 19


INDUSTRY FORUM

ACQUISITIONS: PATH BY

TO

GLORY

OR

PERDITION?

ANDREW DOBBIE, GAMEPLAN EUROPE ’ve had many reasons to regret turning down a spot in the Harvard MBA course that was offered to me in the 1970s. One of the reasons is that I missed the opportunity to learn how business schools teach the nuts and bolts of mergers and acquisitions. In my 30 years in the toy industry, the recurring characteristics that seem to act as driving forces behind most acquisitions are not rational calculations and objective analysis of synergies, risks, and the behavior of employees. Rather it is the unbridled passion, self-serving egotism, and, yes, sometimes stupidity of the protagonists. From my recollection more toy industry acquisitions have been disasters than triumphs. The mother of all disasters must surely be the acquisition of The Learning Company by Mattel. To pay $3 billion for a company that was turning over $300 million and declining seems odd at best. But it seems Mattel paid that sum of money without completing sufficient due diligence to know that The Learning Company was hemorrhaging money at an estimated $100 million per month, which strikes me as being. . . (please insert here the word that pops into your head because I am not interested in being sued for libel). In Mattel’s defense, this was during the dotcom boom when many people were seized with such open-mindedness that it seems their brains dropped

I

20 TOYS & FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT FEBRUARY 2010

out of their heads when striking deals. When the dust settled, the chief architect of the disaster was fired with an estimated $50 million payoff to help heal her wounds. At that time, I remember asking a leading Wall Street analyst how he could explain this absurd reward for failure. His response was a bemused jest: “I can only conclude that she had in her possession a compromising photograph of a board director with a goat!” Charles Lazarus, the founder of Toys “R” Us, once informed the delegates of a conference that he was buying from Hasbro a number of brands that he had once purchased from 34 separate suppliers. The acquisition of Tonka, Kenner, and Parker Bros. by Hasbro was one of the great transformational acquisitions in the history of the toy industry. This is illustrated by the fact that in 1980 the global sales of Hasbro and Mattel were $80 million and $400 million respectively, and since that time the relative growth of Hasbro has been much faster than Mattel’s. The path by which Hasbro came to achieve the acquisition is intriguing. Billionaire investor Ron Perelman made a failed attempt to buy Kenner and Parker Bros. This opened up the opportunity for Tonka to make a successful bid for the business, which was larger than itself, because the owner, General Mills, had realized that the toy division did not make sense in its port-

folio. It was a great purchase because Hasbro was able to leverage the brand assets much more efficiently both in the U.S. and through its international network of subsidiaries than had the previous owner. Another outstandingly successful acquisition was Mattel’s purchase of Fisher-Price. Against the expectations of many, Mattel’s management successfully retained the strong brand values and ethos of the company and greatly built upon them. However, in the long history of acquisitions in the toy industry many acquired brands withered along the way. For example, Meccano at one stage ended up as no more than a dog-eared label on a forgotten filing cabinet. It had to be released to flourish once more on its own two feet. What remains of those former stars Galoob and OddzOn? Brands are born and grow into a success through the outstanding enterprise, genius, and dogged persistence of the founders. Once the acquisition is complete and the division is deprived of this driving force many of these brands just cannot survive inside a corporate structure. Someone whose survival and income is wholly dependent on the success of a brand will battle relentlessly in a way that does not happen in a corporate structure with salaried employees. An acquisition that has yet to realize its dénouement (and to my business


friends in Montréal hopefully not their dénuement) is the purchase of Rose Art. Had it not been for the unforeseeable tragedies and recalls of Magnetix, it would possibly have ended up on the positive side of the scales of historical evaluation of acquisitions. Sometimes large toy companies end up wasting money on acquisitions for many reasons. Oftentimes the existing sales structure is already overloaded. Top management has lost contact with the challenges faced by its sales force, who lack the resources to add lines to their portfolio without undermining their current profitable efforts. The acquisitions of Tiger Electronics by Hasbro and Radica by Mattel come to mind as examples. I talk to buyers and store owners throughout Europe to keep my finger on the pulse of the market. Over the years, on more than one occasion, I have been stunned when told by buyers that a salesperson has quite openly lamented having to launch a particular product because they thought it was useless. The problem can be acute when buyer and salesman have known each other for years and the salesman feels closer to the buyer than to his own employer. This problem is even more marked in the case of subsidiaries of multinational companies, not only because the salespeople are far removed from the head office by geography, language, and culture, but because, on occasion, they are instructed to launch a new brand or range in spite of their wellreasoned argument that for their particular local market it is likely to flop. Even if the

management of a subsidiary conscientiously overcomes their doubts and assiduously executes the instruction from the head office, they may have to put so much effort into trying to succeed that the company is damaged by the salesmen’s resource being redeployed away from the core ranges toward supporting the new brand, which can only

survive with an uneconomic level of support. I would strongly recommend, even to the chief executives of large corporations, that they occasionally spend a few hours visiting the smallest customers. Their belief that the information they receive from their direct reports, having been filtered through the personal career agendas of six layers of management, is still valid and objective, is likely to be severely undermined by the experience. Sometimes a chief executive has an “idée fixe” and gets so carried away by the self perception of strategic brilliance and infallibility that he or she rejects the carefully considered insights of those whom they

have paid to undertake due diligence. Paradoxically they may reject the advice of their people because of the issue I mentioned in the last sentence of the previous paragraph. When Tyco acquired Matchbox the chairman was clearly told by the UK subsidiary’s managing director that most of the profit was in the local brands, not the international ones. The chairman’s strategic vision made him lose interest in the real profit generators because they could not be internationally leveraged. The decision not only damaged Tyco but gave the UK managing director an opportunity to set up his own company, taking with him some of the brands cast off from Tyco, and he enriched himself and his colleagues by building a $200 million company. The weakened Tyco fell into the hands of Mattel, and now there is only a vestigial remnant of a former $700 million company. Returning to my opening question of how business schools teach the process of acquisitions and mergers: Do they take a theoretical standpoint of how acquisition targets should be rigorously evaluated, synergies calculated, and risks assessed? Or do they prepare their graduates for the real world in which these rational processes are frequently subordinated to human failings of personal greed and egotism? Andrew Dobbie is the founder and managing director of the consultancy Gameplan Europe Ltd. Visit www.gameplaneurope.com or email him at andrew@gameplaneurope.com.

FEBRUARY 2010 TOYS & FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT 21


INDUSTRY FORUM

The New, The Improved, The Classic: Keeping Fresh Product in Front of ASTRA Retailers

o what’s new? It’s the age-old question that drives retail. It’s why independent store owners always have one ear to the ground and eyes fixated on catalogs and the web. It’s also why the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) has worked hard to grow the number of first-timers exhibiting at its annual Marketplace & Academy each year. In 2009, 37 percent of exhibitors were manufacturers who were new to ASTRA. The win-win is that vendors have the opportunity to get started in the toy industry, to diversify into specialty, or to interact with independents at the more intimate Marketplace setting. Meanwhile, the retailers get exposure every year to creative, fledgling brands and new lines that can freshen up their stores. ASTRA’s most basic means of incubating new entries is the table top exhibit, which is designed specifically for inventors or new manufacturers with only one product. A limited number of tables are offered each year and always sell out. Manufacturers with less than five products qualify for a one-half booth. Both options increase opportunities for starter companies to get access to the audience that is the best match for their creativity—ASTRA retailers.

S

NEW AT ASTRA’S MARKETPLACE

A good example of an ASTRA-targeted starter brand is Angels from the Attic, which will exhibit for the first time anywhere at June’s Marketplace. Launched about a year ago, the property was created by Mark Marderosian, a professional illustrator who

22 TOYS & FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT FEBRUARY 2010

BY

KATHLEEN MCHUGH, ASTRA

created six animal-based characters while Flying Monkey LLC, which owns spinning imaginative bedtime tales for his Evolvems), is to go beyond the traditional children, and Karen Marderosian, an expe- dinosaur plush category and draw on “the rienced preschool educator. whole catalog of nature’s Products include plush toys, diversity from the dawn of story and activity books, an time to the present. Our toys interactive online clubhouse, allow kids to travel tens or games, and puzzles. The hundreds of millions of years personality of the brand through time,” says Kaufman. focuses on fostering creativThe line is supported by ity and cooperative play online games and a kids’ blog while delivering lessons where users can learn about about friendship, responsibiodiversity and evolution, bility, and caring. Built into with related content for parthe brand is a tie-in with ents and educators. Alex’s Lemonade Stand “At ASTRA, we’re looking Foundation for Childhood to get both exposure to speAngels from the Attic is just Cancer, which puts the cialty retailers and feedback one of the many new companies exhibiting at “sharing and caring” mesfrom them,” says Kaufman. ASTRA Marketplace in June. sage front and center for children who play with the Angels. “We are exhibiting at ASTRA because SUPPORT A TIMELESS MISSION Come June, Angels from the Attic, its audience is a fit,” says Melissa Meehan, company spokesperson. “This toy is simple. Evolvems, and many others will be newYou’ll find no wires or batteries in the comers amidst all the classics that will be Angels—each is activated by a child’s shown at ASTRA’s Marketplace & Academy imagination. ASTRA’s Marketplace is the in Providence, R.I. Some may grow slowly perfect venue for us because we feel that and steadily, some may disappear quickly, specialty retailers are more likely to share and one or two may pop out of the ASTRA the values of the brand and represent it incubator and onto ASTRA’s Best Toys for Kids list. The product is new, but the comeffectively to customers.” Another manufacturer ASTRA attendees mitment to giving start-ups a place to launch will see for the first time at Marketplace is supports a 20-year-old core tenet of Evolvems, a science-inspired property fea- ASTRA’s mission: getting toys with high turing plush animal toys that are two-in-one. play value into the hands of children. There is the original creature and the new creature into which it evolves when the child Kathleen McHugh is president of American flips the toy inside-out. The idea, according Specialty Toy Retailing Association. Visit to creator Avram Kaufman (and founder of www.astratoy.org for more information.


© 2010 Mattel, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

ASTRONAUT 1965

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INDUSTRY FORUM

A TOY GROUCH’S POINT OF VIEW or this month’s column I am filling in for my son, Matt. As of press time in January, he is in Hong Kong working in the Design Edge office. So for this month, I am going to offer an older guy’s view on toy industry product development as we enter a new decade in the 21st century. My views most likely run counter to Matt’s. He is an eternal optimist. I fall more into the category of “Toy Grouch.” There are a number of us out there. Once you read a bit about me, you’ll understand why.

F

I started my career in the toy industry in 1969—just one year out of St. John’s University. My first design jobs were for Ideal Toy and Aurora. It was a great time to be in the

BY

MARK C. NUCCIO, DESIGN EDGE

industry. Toy companies were like roaring lions—still controlled by men of vision such as Lionel Weintraub and Louis Marx. In those days manufacturing was done in the “good old U.S.A.” Inventors ran from company to company selling fresh new concepts, which the lions were willing to invest in, complete with tooling, advertising support, and real sales professionals. I won’t deny that it was all a bit easier back then. There were more retailers, educated buyers, and a significantly less-complex youth market. All of these factors made it easier to take a chance on an item or even an entire line with reasonable certainty that one would get solid distribution. Well, guess what? Things have changed—drastically— and, like it or not, we must change with it. The lions are gone and so is domestic manufacturing. Many of the old stalwart retailers are either gone or have updated the way business is conducted. New retailers have filled voids and specific niches. Internet sales grow stronger with each passing year. Many companies with internal R&D departments now have a shortsighted “not invented internal-

24 TOYS & FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT FEBRUARY 2010

ly” mindset against the outside designer community. Does this old grouch think that this is all bad news for today’s designers? Well, my answer is no. It’s not all bad. In fact, in some ways, it’s good news. Harder times, changes in corporate business models, offshore manufacturing, licensing, CPSC regulations, and constantly changing technologies have had deep effects on the design world. It also eventually weeds out the weak and creates greater opportunities for designers who have what it takes to make it. You see, it’s not just a “toy industry” anymore. It’s also not just about kids anymore. It’s about inhome entertainment for all ages and all members of the family. It creates more opportunities for an inventor. There are also myriad companies that have risen to supply these wider categories. A look at Hasbro and Mattel shows that they are no longer just “toy companies.” Each is a brand and entertainment company forging relationships with movie and TV producers and licensing out their intellectual properties. Each company’s market is beginning to stretch beyond the standard, tradition-

al base of just children. Each company now offers items for every member of the family. There are countless examples of this across the industry that include numerous manufacturers to Disney to Nickelodeon to Cartoon Network. And, in my opinion, it comes down to this: to survive as a designer and a manufacturer (even as a small- to midsize player) one must always be searching, trying, doing, communicating with peers, forging relationships—and trying to have some fun doing it. There will always be a market for ideas and the market will always evolve. As old opportunities fade, new ones will arise. New lions will roar. As for me, I want to be left alone at my desk to look through my old Louis Marx and Ideal catalogs and my 1960s Wish Books. Matt will return with his idealism in next month’s issue. Design Edge is a graphic design and research development studio. Design Edge can be reached at (516) 377–0500.


© 2010 Mattel, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

FIREFIGHTER 1995

OVER 120 CAREERS & COUNTING WHAT WILL BARBIE BE NEXT? ®

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SPREADING FUN TO KIDS AROUND THE GLOBE BY

Toys were recently distributed to military families at Walter Reed Medical Center as part of the Toy Industry Foundation’s Play Comforts partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America. All of the gifts were donated by toy industry companies.

he Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) reported that generous product donations received during the 2009 holiday season helped the industry reach an incredible milestone of $50 million in donated toys. The product donations were received via The Toy Bank, which was established as the Toy Industry Foundation’s signature program in 2003. In the six years since The Toy Bank program’s launch, more than 1,000 toy companies donated over seven million toys for children in need across the globe. “The mission of toymakers is to bring joy to children’s lives,” says Jean Butler, TIF executive director. “The Toy Industry Foundation is proud to represent such an altruistic industry. Through the generosity of these companies, we have been able to share the incredible excitement of toys and play with children in need worldwide.” Nearly 400 charities have received toys for the children they serve who are living in poverty, rescued from abuse, seeking treatment for chronic illnesses, or going through many other difficult situations. The Toy Industry Foundation has proudly partnered with the following leading national organizations to assist in placing the donated toys in the hands of children in need:

T

26 TOYS & FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT FEBRUARY 2010

MARISA MEDINA, TOY INDUSTRY FOUNDATION

• GIFTS IN KIND INTERNATIONAL, INC. • KIDS IN DISTRESSED SITUATIONS, INC. • RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE CHARITIES • MY STUFF BAGS FOUNDATION • BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF AMERICA Through the foundation’s Play Heals program, every Ronald McDonald House in the United States and Canada can request Toy Bank toys each year for the children they serve. With help from TIF, the My Stuff Bags Foundation provides more than 30,000 duffel bags annually filled with toys, clothing, and personal care products to children in foster care. Building on a commitment to our country’s military families shown during Fall Toy Preview, the Toy Industry Foundation launched a new national partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America Military Services during a special toy distribution at The Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. this past December. TIF will continue the new Play Comforts initiative in 2010. More than 750 toys were distributed to deserving service men and women—many of whom have served multiple tours of duty in Iraq—and their families. Santa and several elves assisted with the distribution as carolers sang holiday melodies. Play Comforts focuses on delivering toys to Boys & Girls Clubs on military bases with the highest deployment rates. The initiative is the first-ever national toy distribution program to canvas every branch of the military—Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, and the Navy. The families of both active duty and reserve personnel are eligible. To kick off the 2010 donations, TIF will host its annual toy collection at the close of this year’s Toy Fair in New York City’s Javits Center. Exhibiting companies are invited to contribute product to The Toy Bank. Toymakers are encouraged to make a product donation to help brighten the lives of children throughout the year. For more information, contact Toy Bank coordinator Marisa Medina (646) 454–5581 or visit www.toyindustryfoundation.org.


© 2010 Mattel, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

SURGEON 1973

OVER 120 CAREERS & COUNTING WHAT WILL BARBIE BE NEXT? ®

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STORE CHECK

SHOPPING

FOR

KIDS

IN

HARBOUR CIT Y, HONG K ONG BY

CHRISTOPHER BYRNE

ong Kong is a city of shopping malls. In fact, if there’s a square foot of space open, it’s likely there’s a retail store there. One of the most extensive is actually a series of connected malls stretching up Canton Road on the Kowloon side of Hong Kong. With everything from a supermarket to haute couture, there’s probably nothing one can’t find there. A whole section of one of the malls called Ocean Centre is given over to kids’ retailing. Anchored by a gigantic Toys “R” Us, the stores are mostly mid-tier and above, in keeping with the demographic of the nearby residents. As is often the case in Hong Kong, department stores are few and far between, and the malls are jammed with specialty shops focused on specific brands or product categories. The children’s area is much the same, with dedicated stores carrying books, infant clothes, accessories, and shoes. One of the newest additions to this area is a glamorous Barbie boutique, Now the girl who has everything can which carries high-styled, licensed have her hair blown out in style. For a apparel and accessories, mostly for mere U.S.$635, this blow dryer was on sale in Hong Kong. Stylist sold separately. Barbie girls ages 5 and up. (No adult Barbie merchandise is carried in this area.) Connected to the high-end Jill Stuart shop, the Barbie boutique stands in a prominent location at the entrance to this area of the mall. Toys “R” Us, however, dominates this area of the mall. It had been nearly five years since we covered the store for this column, and we were eager to see how the store had evolved. Overall, it’s got a cleaner layout, is easier to shop, and, like the department stores in Hong Kong, notably the mid-tier chain Sogo, it is laid out in a variety of boutiques, focusing on different products and properties. It also includes designated areas for Babies “R” Us and RZone as well as a small area for expectant mothers. While there is a heavy focus on global brands, local and regional products have a good presence. Beyblade, which an associate

H

28 TOYS & FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT FEBRUARY 2010

Ben 10 (above), Beyblade (center), and Hello Kitty (bottom) were on display at the Toys “R” Us in the Ocean Centre mall on the Kowloon side in Hong Kong.


© 2010 Mattel, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE 2000

OVER 120 CAREERS & COUNTING WHAT WILL BARBIE BE NEXT? ®

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STORE CHECK

said is doing very well, last month was featured in the front section of Toys “R” Us and in a window display that ran across nearly the entire front of the store. The staff was busy re-stocking shelves on a Wednesday afternoon in mid-January. Designated areas for Barbie make a dramatic statement, as does the display for the Disney Princesses. LeapFrog and Vtech each have their own areas. One of the largest individual areas is given over to LEGO, which has about 300 square feet of space. Thomas the Tank Engine commands about 150 square feet. Smaller, but no less dramatic, are merchandising areas featuring Transformers, Ben 10, Hot Wheels, and Fantasma Magic. Fantasma has a performance area set up near the front of the store. (Magic is a strong category in Hong Kong, an observation based on the number of magic toy companies at the Toys & Games Fair.) Sporting goods and bicycles have their own areas, as do party supplies, candy, and arts and crafts. Crayola anchors the arts and crafts section with two sections with endcaps. The R-Zone, which was hopping with boys on an after-school outing, takes up about 600 square feet and focuses heavily on video game titles, consoles, and accessories, with fewer other electronics than Toys “R” Us often carries in its U.S. locations. Prices tended to be higher for many of the major brands than a shopper would find in the U.S. Basic Hot Wheels cars were priced at about $2 (that’s U.S. dollars) each, about double what they cost in the U.S. As might be expected, many items were on sale, but the discounts were not as deep as one encounters in other categories. While it’s very common right now in Hong Kong to find original prices in other product categories discounted as much as 40–60 percent, often with an extra 5 percent taken off at the register and a gift thrown in, promotional prices for toys were not as radical in Hong Kong. The most sought-after toy in the U.S., Zhu Zhu Pets, was in good supply, though at HK$99, they too were about twice the price of the product in the U.S. It kind of squelched the idea of coming home with a suitcase full of them to sell online. Most store personnel declined to speak about sales, and none would give specifics, but several did say that after a challenging 2009, it felt like customers were coming back and that traffic was up in the mall so far in the beginning of this year. The Harbour Centre complex relies on the cruise ships that dock immediately adjacent to it for a great deal of its business. As that traffic has picked up, retailers are both relieved and optimistic.

30 TOYS & FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT FEBRUARY 2010

This Babies “R” Us inside Toys “R” Us is just one example of the store-within-a-store concept that dominates Chinese retail.

The Ocean Centre Mall groups retailers by category. Toys “R” Us is the anchor store in the children’s area. Many other retailers showcasing numerous product categories for kids are in this zone. Shown above is Book Buddy. Shown below is a children’s apparel retailer.


© 2010 Mattel, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

RACE CAR DRIVER 2010

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PURCHASE BY

IN A

FLASH

NANCY LOMBARDI

nline shopping is the one avenue of retail that is growing by leaps and bounds. An off-shoot of traditional online retailing known as referral-based flash-sale shopping is now poised to emerge as the latest trend in the U.S. The concept has been around for some time in Europe. The biggest player and pioneer of the flash-sale concept, www.venteprivee.com, launched nearly a decade ago in France. (The website’s name means private sale.) It has since expanded across Europe to include Germany, Spain, Italy, and the UK. In 2007, U.S.based venture capital firm Summit Partners acquired a 20 percent stake in the site. The site was valued at $1 billion, according to media reports. Private sales are a Screen shots concept that’s getting a lot of media attention in the from U.S. with recent stories in The New York Times and www.totsy.com BusinessWeek as other entrepreneurs flock to get in illustrating the concept on this potentially profitable business model. of online The private-sale concept works differently private flash than conducting a product search for an item that sales. a shopper is interested in buying. Shoppers are members of the site. Membership is acquired by consumers signing up to gain access or being invited by another member. Even though anyone can join these free sites, this tactic offers an air of exclusivity that entices consumers who have purchase intent. The sites sell high-end goods at deep discounts so it also helps protect a brand’s reputation. Manufacturers can sell goods without having to risk their brand’s name by putting the items in T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, or Filene’s Basement, for example. Private-sale shopping sites use social media to seed the internet with codes for shoppers to gain access. Once the free membership is established, users receive emails alerting them to shop for specific items at discounted prices. But the catch is, members have to shop within a specified period of time or the opportunity is missed. Most of the sites thus far have been geared toward high-end fashion. Each targets women, many of whom have attended sample sales and are used to waiting in line to snatch up low-cost high-end goods before the next shopper. Now the concept is expanding in the U.S., most notably with www.gilt.com. Other sites include www.ruelala.com, www.ideeli.com, and

O

32 TOYS & FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT FEBRUARY 2010

www.hautelook.com. Saks Fifth Avenue also tried an online private flash sale last fall targeting its own customer list. But again these sales focus on high-end fashion. The next untapped market is moms. Moms with young children are one of the fastest growing groups on the web as evidenced by the power of mommy bloggers as well as the continued increases in online shopping. The newest sales club, www.totsy.com, launched last year targeting moms with children under age 7 in the U.S. and Canada. The New York City-based company will offer 40–70 percent off of high-end children’s brands in apparel, toys, and other goods. Some of the specialtyfocused toy manufacturers that Totsy is currently working with include Kettler, Haba, Hape, Yottoy, and Paul Frank, among many others. The Totsy team will be at this month’s Toy Fair seeking high-end specialty manufacturers to feature on the site. Guillaume Gauthereau, founder and CEO of Totsy, says that it is in the process of building its toy offerings and expects to feature toys on the site every week or possibly twice per week. Totsy expects to have 100,000 moms on the site in the early part of this year, according to Gauthereau. “This is a site catering to moms so an email will be generated to members at 9 P.M. That is the time to reach them—once the kids are in bed. When they see a brand, they will know they have to buy it because it may only be featured on the site once or twice per year.” The key to any website is acquiring new visitors. Totsy plans to expand using a mix of traditional print and web media outreach. This will be mixed with social media outreach on Facebook and Twitter offering codes for moms to try the site and, in turn, invite others. Gauthereau says that the private-sale concept can help specialty manufacturers. It offers them a chance to talk to a specific audience— one that is willing to spend money. Once consumers are familiar with the brand, it will be recognized when they go into a brick-and-mortar store, making a purchase more likely. Private-sale sites could present a number of opportunities for specialty manufacturers to regain ground as the economy remains uncertain. Totsy may not be the only option. Zulily.com, which just announced a $4.6 million investment from venture capitalist firm Maveron LLC also plans to target moms. It announced in late December that it’s in beta testing for Q1 2010.


OVER 120 CAREERS &

COUNTING

WHAT WILL

BARBIE

®

BE NEXT? Find out February 12th on Barbie.com!

Voting site live January 11-February 9, 2010. © 2010 Mattel, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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News out of Hong Kong: Bring on 2010 BY

CHRISTOPHER BYRNE

ith inventories low and a pervading optimism that, whatever is in store, the 2010 toy year will be an improvement over 2009, the 36th annual Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair swept into the newly expanded Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre last month. On the opening day, the fair boasted a 25 percent increase in visitors over 2009, driven partially by optimism and the expansion of the event. The show, which has been run concurrently with the Hong Kong International Stationery Fair for the past 10 years has now added the Hong Kong Baby Products Fair and incorporated the Hong Kong International Licensing Show, which used to take place in July. According to TS Wong, chairman of the Toys Advisory Committee for the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the establishment of the Baby Products Fair was a natural move both to attract more buyers and to differentiate more clearly the product categories. Many of the 300 exhibitors had previously shown as part of the Toys & Games Fair, but several, particularly manufacturers in the car seat and accessory sectors, said that they had expanded their space and the number of products they could show. On the second and third days of the show, the general consensus was that buyers in this category were, as in the toy area, eager to buy. The stationery show also got a major boost from the additional space available this year. One of the centerpieces of the show was a large area devoted to Japan Design, which was complemented by international pavilions from the Chinese Mainland, Taiwan, and Thailand and various new product areas. This year, the fair also introduced its first Stationery Award, honoring innovative and environmentally friendly stationery and office products.

W

TOYS HOLDING THEIR OWN

There wasn’t a single company representative at the show who wasn’t happy to see the end of 2009. Some Hong Kong manufacturers reported that their business was off as much as 40 percent. However, as with many of the U.S. manufacturers, even a return to “almost normal” sales in the second half of the year couldn’t sufficiently offset an overall decline for the year, even with cost-cutting measures that virtually every company said it had engaged in. Still, with retail inventories depleted, buyers were in the mood to buy—or at least seriously consider. Manufacturers that had orders cancelled last year as the

34 TOYS & FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT FEBRUARY 2010

opening day crowds at the Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair, which took place last month in Hong Kong

economy remained uncertain were guardedly optimistic and hoped that the greater number of meetings they were having versus last year meant that orders would soon be coming in.

THE TREND TO BASICS

“Back to basics” is a classic toy industry moniker when there is no one, identifiable emerging trend. The electronics sector has matured, the platform wars have stabilized, and global brands dominate many markets. That leaves innovation in classic play as the next trend to focus on almost by default. As part of the show, HKTDC introduced a Brand Names Gallery with nearly 80 exhibitors with strong brands in much of the world.




Walking through this expansive area, it’s clear that companies are focusing on what they do best, providing innovation and value. While some American company representatives walking the show bemoaned the fact that they weren’t seeing anything “breakthrough,” the real breakthroughs were less obvious. Overall, prices for radio control cars are coming down while performance and design are steadily increasing. Particularly in flying R/C, the ability to control flight and battery life have increased exponentially over the past several years. There has been a surge in active toys, particularly skateboards, casterboards, and other unique riders. Trider, a Korean-based company, was exhibiting for the first time at the show, and was launching a patented threewheel ride-on that combines skating, skiing, and kickboarding. David Chang, CEO of the company and inventor of the product, said that while there are competitive products on the market, his company has invested heavily in improving performance and construction while keeping the price down. One of the reasons the company decided to exhibit at the show for the first time was the opportunity to open new markets. Having had success in Korea, they were actively looking to expand. The potential to open new markets also brought specialty game manufacturer ARN to the show for the first time. Assaf Semadar, part of the sales and marketing team for the company based in Israel and China, said that the upscale packaging of classic games using tins, magnets, and making the package part of the play combined with classic licenses or unique themes—e.g. “green awareness”— have proven successful in the markets where it has begun to be established. Semadar said that current plans call for expansion into the

U.S. specialty channels in a manageable way and was hoping to find distribution with someone visiting the show. HKTDC also invested in making the show easier to maneuver this year. Thanks to the expanded space of the recently completed addition, more galleries organized by theme make walking the show much easier than in previous years.

AND LICENSING ARRIVES

More than 140 exhibitors representing hundreds of properties made an impressive showing as the Hong Kong International Licensing Show was run in conjunction with the Toys & Games Fair for the first time. Many leading members of the U.S. licensing industry were spotted in attendance, and the roster of exhibitors included Warner Bros. Consumer Products and Cartoon Network. The characters ranged from international hits to local and regional properties. Even properties like Miffy and It’s Happy Bunny had strong representation through their regional licensing agencies. Francesca Ash, publisher and editor of Total Licensing, was impressed with the scope of the show, the quality of exhibitors and visitors, and the general layout. She added that moving the show from the summer made a great deal of sense because so many toy, baby product, and stationery companies rely heavily on licensing. Licensing has become more and more sophisticated, understood, and employed in the region over the past decade, and as one walks the toy show, it’s evident that the concerted efforts of Mattel to unify Barbie branding and imagery, for example, have been highly successful.

A COMMITMENT TO EDUCATION

One of the ongoing missions of the HKTDC has been to educate attendees.

Many of the leading U.S. brands made strong statements at this year’s show. Licensing has become more sophisticated, understood, and employed in the Asian region over the past decade. Mattel’s efforts to unify Barbie branding and imagery, for example, have been highly successful.

Seminars in toys and licensing covered industry basics and brought together leading figures in the global toy industry to address important issues in the changing market. The HKTDC also sponsored two series on toy safety—an all-day review of safety standards and an overview of the latest product safety regulations, including representatives from the U.S. CPSC and policy officers from Europe and China. It’s axiomatic that no one is publicly pessimistic at a trade show, but fortunately this year there are many strong reasons to be hopeful. The Hong Kong shows remain a vital element of the toy year and an important destination for anyone in this business.

FEBRUARY 2010 TOYS & FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT 35


THE INDUSTRY WEIGHS IN ON THE CPSIA BY

CHRIS ADAMS

he recent AP reports of cadmium being found in children’s jewelry brings to mind the high-profile recalls of 2007 that have changed the face of toy manufacturing and retailing in many ways. Congress’s enactment of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) has already begun to affect the toy industry, arguably for better and for worse, even as the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) sorts out the many, many details included in the legislation. The CPSIA is a massive hulk of legislation that was enacted as a reaction to those highprofile recalls. The one concept that legislators and the consumer groups that lit the flame under the collective posterior of the Congress that enacted the CPSIA failed to recognize is that the recalls weren’t a result of not having strict safety rules on the books; the issue was a matter of compliance. “The most important change resulting from CPSIA is that domestic manufacturers and importers now need evidence that their products comply with regulations,” says Gene Rider, president of Intertek Consumer Goods North America, a testing lab that has been approved to carry out the tests necessary for CPSIA compliance. However, along with compliance assurance, a lot of other topics are included in the legislation. These topics provide many bones of contention between the toy industry and the legislation. “The CPSIA is a flawed piece of legislation,” says Carter Keithley, president of the Toy Industry Association (TIA). “It is complex, overbuilt in some respects, and vague and inadequate in other respects. On the whole, it is a

T

great example of legislative ‘sausage-making.’ We all know the old joke that people who like sausage and respect the law should never watch either one being made.” The sheer size of this sausage-made legislation is one major source of ill will toward it. The TIA has been utilizing webinars, safety bulletins, responses to individual questions, and lists of recommended legal and technical resources to try and help companies learn what is required by the CPSIA. “Unfortunately,” says Keithley, “the law is so complex, and the development of CPSC regulations such a rapidly moving target, that it seems as if nothing we do can give our companies all the information they need.” On top of this legislation being complex and difficult to follow, it is also very costly—in terms of testing and resources—for toy manufacturers to follow some of the aspects of the legislation that are understood. “The law that was written causes me to overtest significantly,” says Rick Woldenberg, chairman of Learning Resources. “At a certain point, if the test results stack high enough, you realize that you don’t need to re-test some of these products because they’ve already passed. Because too many things are defined as unsafe that are actually safe, tremendous costs are put on the industry and consumers.” As a result of the high costs this legislation demands of manufacturers, there has begun a fallout that will only grow as time goes on. The specialty segment of the market will be hardest hit. Large, mass-market manufacturers amortize these costs through the sheer volume of toys sold. Smaller specialty manufacturers don’t have that luxury. “All of these issues result in a reduction in diversity of product choices,” says

36 TOYS & FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT FEBRUARY 2010

Woldenberg. “This can make manufacturers exit the specialty market for the mass market or they can exit the toy industry all together.” And that doesn’t take into consideration some of the more unique products some specialty toy store owners stocked on their shelves. “We had been importing directly from Europe a number of products from European manufacturers,” says Dan Marshall, owner of Peapods Natural Toys in St. Paul, Minn., and vice-president of the Handmade Toy Alliance. “As such, under the CPSIA we were considered the manufacturer of these items because we were bringing these toys into the country. Because of this, we would be considered responsible for testing these products.” The European Union is known for its stringent toy safety standards. The toys that Marshall was importing from Europe would most likely meet the standards laid forth in the CPSIA. They also fit the spirit of that law. However, the inflexibility of the CPSIA created a situation where safe toys are unable to reach potential consumers. “The real danger of this law is that we will become obsessed with compliance as opposed to obsessed with safety,” says Woldenberg. “Compliance with this law is not the same thing as safety.” Safety is really the issue at hand here. I’m sure that the legislators who drafted the CPSIA had good intentions in regard to ensuring that the toys that children play with are safer. However, as laid out above, there are many flaws in this massive piece of legislation, including not allowing the CPSC the kind of flexibility it needs to apply its expertise in a methodical process to establish sound rules and regulations.



SPECIALTY MANUFACTURERS ASSESS STATE OF INDUSTRY BY

CHRIS ADAMS

he year 2009 was challenging overall, and the specialty segment of the toy industry certainly was not immune. As the ball gets rolling on the 2010 toy-selling season, key specialty manufacturers weigh in on the year that was and the year that will be as well as what challenges lay ahead and how they will address them.

T

Laura Rangel president and CEO, KidsGive

bloggers are very meaningful. Moms trust other moms for information about products and services. Through blogs and other forms of new media, their platform is much larger. Some of the mom bloggers form a strong personal connection with our brand since Lisa Steen Proctor and I are female entrepreneurs who run a small business. It’s a different relationship than a mom blogger would have with someone in the marketing department at a large manufacturer.

THERE WERE WIDESPREAD

REPORTS OF AN INCREASE IN ONLINE SHOPPING THIS PAST

HOLIDAY SEASON; DOES THIS

TREND TRANSLATE TO THE SPECIALTY TOY BUSINESS?

We believe an online presence, especially through well-known outlets, helps specialty toymakers by increasing brand exposure and awareness. The ability to show multiple images and the ability to tell your story helps showcase the uniqueness of specialty toys. Karito Kids dolls and books are available on Amazon.com and through other online retailers, such as Toysrus.com. We also offer our products through the Karito Kids website. We saw a significant increase in our online sales in 2009 compared to 2008. WHAT INFLUENCE DO SOCIAL MEDIA AND MOMMY BLOGGERS PLAY IN THE SPECIALTY TOY MARKET? Social media and mom bloggers offer great opportunities for specialty toymakers to build brand awareness. Since Karito Kids and many other specialty toymakers are small and nimble, with limited budgets, we entered the new media space early. These outlets are very effective ways for specialty brands to get their message out. The personal recommendations by mom

Etienne Veber, president and CEO, Learning Resources

HOW WAS THE HOLIDAY 2009 SELLING SEASON? HOW DID IT COMPARE TO THE 2008 SEASON? Our 2009 holiday season was on par with 2008; in fact it was probably slightly better. However, it was reflective of the continuing transition we have been experiencing in the marketplace recently. This transition can be summarized into four components: Consumers are continuing to spend for their children despite the severe economic downturn. On aggregate, consumer spending in our category (educational toys) seemed more or less on par with the 2008 holiday season. Because the past two years were below previous annual spending levels, we see growth potential as the economic situation continues to recover over the next few years. We experienced a continued acceleration of purchases related to the web. Though this trend is not a surprise, this past holiday season reaffirmed that if you provide consumers with sufficient information and relevant content online, they

38 TOYS & FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT FEBRUARY 2010

continue to be more and more comfortable making purchases via the internet—even purchases as important as products for their children. We feel there were more educated shoppers who did their research to get the best products at the most competitive prices. This trend was accentuated by most retailers (big or small) aggressively promoting deals early this past holiday period. Customers that were either able to place large purchase orders in September/October or that partnered with us so that we could manage their fulfillment needs out of our own warehouse did best this past season. Either way, they were in a position to take advantage of the slight rebound in consumption versus the first nine months of 2009. HOW

HAS THE CONTINUING WEAK ECONOMY

INFLUENCED THE LANDSCAPE OF THE SPECIALTY TOY INDUSTRY?

It is no secret that the weak economy is having a disproportionately greater impact on the small retailers rather than the larger ones that have plenty of capital and resources. That being said, we are seeing some specialty retailers being highly successful through innovation, great service, and aggressive local/social media marketing strategies. As the economy progressively stabilizes, we expect to see more retailers moving from a current defensive posture to a more aggressive stance. At Learning Resources and Educational Insights, we are continuing to do our part to help the specialty toy industry. In fact, we made a strategic decision to maintain our budgets and resources tied to innovation and product development when many manufacturers were cutting back. As a result, we are now bringing to the marketplace two comprehensive lines and more


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than 55 new educational toys. We have also worked hard to make sure that a large number of these new toys have SRPs below $20. HOW

HAVE THE TIGHTENED CREDIT MARKETS

AFFECTED THE SPECIALTY TOY INDUSTRY?

First, we experienced a major drop in orders early in 2009 as every company tried to reduce its inventory position to improve its cash flow. Then, we saw a period of stabilization between May and August. At that point, we finally felt confident that the whole system was as low in terms of inventory as it has been for years. However, many retailers continued to purchase very conservatively in September through November as a result of the combined effect of continued tight credit markets and worries about depressed consumer spending. As a supplier committed to long-term relationships with specialty retailers, we work closely with many of our smaller customers to help them through these exceptional and difficult times.

Mike Klein, president and CEO, Manhattan Toy

HOW WAS THE HOLIDAY 2009 SELLING SEASON? HOW

DID IT COMPARE TO THE

2008 SEASON? The 2009 selling season was fair, and I would say slightly better than 2008. Manhattan Toy had a lot of new products that we offered to specialty customers in the last half of 2009, and that certainly helped us. I think companies that continue to introduce new, interesting, and innovative products will have the edge.

THERE

Tim Kimber, president and CEO, PlaSmart

WERE WIDESPREAD REPORTS OF AN

INCREASE IN ONLINE SHOPPING THIS PAST HOLIDAY

SEASON; DOES THIS TREND TRANSLATE TO THE SPE-

CIALTY TOY BUSINESS?

The reports are true, and I do think it translates to the specialty business as many of our specialty retailers also sell products through their online stores. Consumers continue to become more and more comfortable shopping on the web, and retailers and manufacturers can’t ignore this ongoing trend. HOW HAS THE ONGOING WEAK ECONOMY AFFECT-

ED THE LANDSCAPE OF THE SPECIALTY TOY INDUSTRY?

I think one of the biggest things affecting the specialty industry is that the weak economy may be forcing some manufacturers to cut back on R&D and not introduce as many new items or brands as in the past. When this happens, specialty retailers have less to distinguish themselves from the masses, and that will ultimately hurt their business. Manhattan Toy is fortunate that we have a stable business that allows us to continue to invest and innovate, and, in fact, we introduced almost 250 new items in January for the specialty retailer. We obviously have a vested interest in the health of the specialty retailer.

HOW HAS THE CPSIA AFFECTED MANHATTAN TOY? Basically, it has increased our cost of sales. Increased testing procedures and frequency and the added administration costs to monitor our quality assurance programs have increased our overall testing costs dramatically over the past two years, and we can absorb only so much of the cost before we have to start raising wholesale prices. It’s a tricky balancing act.

40 TOYS & FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT FEBRUARY 2010

WHAT INFLUENCE HAS THE

WEAK ECONOMY HAD ON THE

LANDSCAPE OF THE SPECIALTY TOY INDUSTRY?

It is clear that consumers are increasingly becoming comparativeprice shoppers, particularly with the convenience of online retailers. Consolidation continues in the specialty toy industry with many retailers and manufacturers not being able to withstand the economic downturn. There are indeed fewer specialty retailers as well as those that have had to reduce store space or locations. The specialty retailer’s competitive edge of customer service, product knowledge, and unique items is more important than ever. For various reasons there are fewer suppliers to choose from, making the specialty retailer’s task even more difficult. HOW

HAVE THE TIGHTENED CREDIT MARKETS

AFFECTED THE SPECIALTY TOY INDUSTRY?

There are fewer suppliers, making the market smaller and smaller each year. Credit issues, CPSIA regulations, and other restrictions cause the disappearance of many distributors, manufacturers, and suppliers—particularly the smaller ones. Many other suppliers are required to increase prices, limit new product introductions, decrease SKUs, and offer fewer promotional programs for the specialty retailer. This greatly affects specialty retailers who want to keep their inventory fresh and differentiated from those of the mass market.


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Peter Jones, director of sales, Reeve and Jones WHAT

DOES THE LAY OF

THE LAND IN THE SPECIAL TY MARKET LOOK LIKE AT

2009 AND 2010? In many respects, I think the end of 2009 looks better than the end of 2008. That isn’t to say that I think things look great, but I think the bulk of the damage was done at the end of 2008. Consider the environment leading into fourth quarter of 2008. Most specialty folks were having a fair-to-middling year and were looking forward to a strong finish. Based on the prior year, people stocked up on inventory early and took more chances with smaller, unproven products. When 2008 tanked, retailers and manufacturers carried excess inventory into 2009 and spent the first part of the year choking through it. Coming into fourth quarter this past year, both stores and manufacturers were very cautious with inventory levels; we certainly were. It also seems that retailers were taking fewer chances on new products, preferring to channel their often-limited open-to-buy budgets toward proven sellers and manufacturers that were able to offer extended dating and freight. This is the kind of environment that is challenging (to say the least) for a relatively new, small company such as ours. We weren’t able to offer the great dating or freight terms that specialty retailers were really looking for. I think the good news for 2010 is that the challenging economic environment of the last 18 months or so has really weeded out the weaker players. If you are still standing in January 2010, you’ve probably got a stable THE END OF

INTO

and (hopefully) profitable business. With any luck, we’ll all continue to put the hard-earned lessons of 2008–09 into practice and see the benefits in the years to come. DO

YOU FEEL THAT THE

ENSURE TOYS ARE SAFER?

CPSIA

WILL HELP

I certainly think that most people think toys will be safer. Perhaps my view is cynical, but I tend to believe that a law is successful only when all parties involved (both on the manufacturing and enforcement side) work together to achieve full compliance. Already in the news there are stories of kids’ jewelry makers substituting cadmium for lead in their jewelry. Cadmium is also toxic at certain levels. My bigger concern has to do with the unintended consequences of CPSIA. The specialty toy business began—and thrived for many years—because of its ability to find and offer unique toys not available in mass-market toy departments. The additional costs (and they are not insignificant) associated with the new testing requirements will certainly doom many items not generating a large enough sales volume. Manufacturers will be forced to dump lower-volume specialty toys, as the amortization of the testing will push the product cost too high. Such a trend could ultimately challenge the specialty toy market’s ability to keep its cachet.

42 TOYS & FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT FEBRUARY 2010

Randy Compton, CEO, Think-a-Lot Toys HOW

HAS THE CONTINU-

ING WEAK ECONOMY AFFECTED THE LANDSCAPE OF THE SPECIALTY TOY INDUSTRY?

In some ways this economy has helped the specialty toy industry. It has forced families to focus on getting the most play value for the least amount of money—and in many cases this means returning to the kinds of toys and games that are found in specialty stores. And, in my mind, the specialty toy industry is king in providing the best value in entertainment. In fact, this economy has helped people see that behind all the bells and whistles of consumerism lay the tried-and-true qualities of simple, face-to-face contact and fun, engaging play where wits and social interaction rule. Families actually like getting together and playing together and, in some cases, it has been a neglected form of entertainment. Too often, people buy the latest, greatest technological toy that costs a lot of money, but takes them toward the famous “flat, blue screen” instead of a live human being where we learn how to be and interact with one another. In addition to providing high-quality games with high play values, the specialty toy industry provides a level of personal customer service that the mass markets can’t touch. Think about it. A customer goes into a specialty store and more often than not gets someone who knows toys and games and can recommend a wide variety of options that are creative, fun, and often educational. Overall, the customer is getting a lot of service value by going to specialty toy stores. This is not to negate the fact that the specialty toy industry has been impacted by consumers who are weary of opening up their pocketbooks and mass retailers that are slowly adding more specialty games to their mix.



SPECIALTY STORE OWNERS DESCRIBE BY

CHRIS ADAMS

rom the perspective of the specialty toy store owner, 2009 was a year fraught with challenges. The specialty market wasn’t immune to the economic pressures that cast a pallor over the country. However, in this age when flat is the new up, there are also some areas for optimism. TOYS & FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT spoke with some of the U.S.’s preeminent specialty toy retailers and got the lay of the land at retail coming out of 2009 and heading full steam ahead in 2010. The general consensus was that holiday 2009 was an improvement over 2008. By keeping expenses to a minimum and offering as wide of a selection as possible, retailers were able to come out ahead. “We controlled our payroll significantly in holiday 2009,” says Diana Nelson, owner of Kazoo & Company in Denver. “We didn’t hire on as many people as we have in the past.” While keeping overhead low and focusing on delivering a first-rate shopping experience, retailers were able to experience the fruits of their extensive labor. Luckily for these retailers, consumers did end up shopping, even if they were more strategic than in years past. “People shopped late—maybe because they were waiting for the big deals to show up or else waiting for their mid-December paycheck,” says Terry Myers, owner of Kaleidoscope Toys in Round Rock, Tex. “They were not looking for the one big gift, rather they were choosing several medium-priced items.” Nelson adds,“People were looking for values. This year, many customers printed out our coupons and brought them to the store.” While driving traffic during the 2009 holiday season, the country’s specialty retailers

F

THE LAY OF

were having to deal with fallout on the vendor side as a result of the economy. Last fourth quarter, there were regular announcements of manufacturers going out of business. It speaks volumes that these vendors couldn’t sustain their business long enough to reap the rewards that the holiday season promises. Typically, the first quarter is the timeframe when this fallout would occur. As a result of a decreasing number of vendors, retailers were sometimes left scrambling to find available product to stock their shelves. While the economy is showing some signs of stabilizing, 2010 will most likely see more manufacturers going out of business or being acquired, leaving retailers with fewer options to purchase product. Also, the ongoing age compression issue continues to add outside competition for a family’s entertainment dollars. “The iPod and iPhone are high on young children’s ‘I want’ list,” says David Hesel, owner of The Toy Shop of Concord, in Concord, Mass. “The iSlate from Apple (one of the rumored names for the rumored tablet device that could hit the market this year), if there is one, is very high on my list of items to watch in a developing market. How much of the ‘toy’ market could be taken out with this item?” There is no doubt that specialty toy retailers will focus on overcoming challenges in 2010 that are wrought from the ongoing weak economy and outside competition. However, in order to get clearly back into the black, they have to slowly climb out of the economic hole. Kazoo’s Nelson sums it up, saying, “The year 2009 was a year to stay in business. The year 2010 will be a rebuilding, stabilizing year. . . and 2011 will be awesome.”

44 TOYS & FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT FEBRUARY 2010

THE LAND


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Read It Here First!

Toy Fair 2010

An EXCLUSIVE Look at Toy Story

very year at Toy Fair, attendees are looking for the buzz. What’s the newest? What’s the latest and greatest? Yet, over the past few years, it seems the buzz has been lacking. Well, that’s about to change at this month’s Toy Fair where the “Buzz” will come with the last name of “Lightyear” as Disney/Pixar says it plans to dominate this year’s show with news of Toy Story 3. Toy Fair will kick off with the induction of Disney/Pixar chief creative officer John Lasseter into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame at this year’s T.O.T.Y. Awards event on Saturday, February 13. Disney has an event planned for Sunday to kick off Toy Fair with the filmmakers from Toy Story 3, including Lasseter. There will be a first look at the product line, premiere of the new trailer, and the new characters will be revealed. Shown on the right is a first look at Lotso Bear, who plays a key role in the film. Toy Story 3 is expected to open in 3-D in theaters on June 18, reuniting the voice talent from the first two films while introducing new characters such as Lotso Bear, who may not be as he appears. There will be a greater role for Barbie and for Ken, who will be voiced by Michael Keaton. There’s also a thespian hedgehog voiced by Timothy Dalton named Mr. Pricklepants. The premise of the story is that Andy is getting ready for college

E

and is certainly too old for his once-beloved toys. The toys realize that they have an uncertain future as Andy enters the next stage of life. Will they end up on eBay? Simply be thrown away? Will they get separated as they embark on an adventure in a day center only to be pawed by sticky little kids? The group makes every effort to make sure that “no toy is left behind” in this 3-D adventure. Mattel, Thinkway, LEGO, and other key licensees are showing comprehensive Toy Story 3 product lines. “Toy Story has been a perennial for us since product hit the shelves in 1995,” says Mary Beech, vice-president and general manager, global studio franchise development for Disney Consumer Products. “It’s a unique property because it has cross-generational appeal.” Now Disney/Pixar is gearing up for the film’s release with “lead partners making significant statements,” says Vince Klaseus, senior vice-president of global toys for Disney Consumer Products. “What’s exciting this time around is we are delivering so many more ways to play than we have in the past. We were always focused on action figures and playsets and that will continue but we really expanded with new ways to bring the characters to life.”

46 TOYS & FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT FEBRUARY 2010

There are more than 20 toy licensees for Toy Story 3. Here is a sampling of the licensees: Digital Blue, First Act, Hasbro, Huffy, Jakks Pacific, LeapFrog, LEGO, Mattel, MEGA Brands, Pacific Cycle, Spin Master, Tara Toy, Techno Source, Thinkway, ToyQuest, Vtech, and Wild Planet. Pictured above is Lotso from Mattel. On the left is Buzz Lightyear from Thinkway. On the bottom left is a Green Army Man from LEGO.

Some of that will be seen in lines from Thinkway, which is an original licensee from the 1995 release of Toy Story, to items from Mattel and LEGO. In addition, Beech says that Disney/Pixar is keeping the property alive separate from the film. “We have huge merchandising plans,” she says. “The parks and resorts have great Toy Story statements. We have it in every avenue of consumer experience in the Disney brands.” And, while nothing has been announced, there is always the chance that Toy Story will live beyond the film in the form of a television series, which was done once before with Buzz Lightyear of Star Command.


First Look from Toy Story 3

This scene from Toy Story 3 shows the original cast of characters.

JOHN L ASSETER INDUCTED INTO TOY INDUSTRY HALL OF FAME

Franchise Facts: • The original Toy Story, released in 1995, was the first feature film to use computergenerated imagery. • Thinkway Toys was an original licensee for the film in 1995 and remains a key licensee for the franchise.

• Buzz Lightyear was named for astronaut Buzz Aldrin. The character originally was to be a tin toy, but the filmmakers then decided it seemed too old-fashioned. The character then became a military action figure and it eventually turned to a space theme. The character’s original name was Lunar Larry, then Tempus from Morph, and eventually Buzz Lightyear.

• In 2008, a Thinkway Toys Buzz Lightyear action figure was taken into space on board the Discovery Space Shuttle. It was used for six month’s worth of experiments in zero gravity. It’s part of a Toys in Space program run by NASA and Disney so teachers can engage kids in math and science experiments.

• John Lasseter, chief creative officer for Disney/Pixar, tells fans on the Disney Living Channel on YouTube that he chose Buzz Lightyear’s colors to be purple and green based on his favorite color, which is lime green, and his wife’s favorite color, which is purple. He says they make a great team so he figured the colors would be a great combo for Buzz.

It’s no secret that John Lasseter is a big fan of toys—so much so that he created what’s known as the Toy Story Definitive Line of Toys in conjunction with Thinkway Toys. This line allows consumers to purchase the actual product in the package just as Andy would have in the films. It’s for the recognition of this love of toys and his contribution to the success of the industry that the Toy Industry Association (TIA) is inducting Lasseter into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame during this year’s T.O.T.Y. Awards event. As of press time, he was scheduled to attend to accept his award. (Also being inducted into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame is Sam Walton, Walmart founder.)

FEBRUARY 2010 TOYS & FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT 47


Read It Here First!

Toy Fair 2010

An EXCLUSIVE look at some of the newest items coming to market this year. BY

NANCY LOMBARDI

Fisher-Price Little People Wheelies Stand ’n Play Rampway, from Fisher-Price, introduces toddlers to Little People vehicles, which are perfectly sized for small hands. The playset is more than two-feet tall, anchored by two rolling ramps with places to play on both sides. Kids can stop at the repair shop for a tune-up, load vehicles onto the lift, and raise it up and down for mechanical-cranking sound effects. Send cars through the flipper sign that spins around when vehicles hit it. Park at the meters to visit the shops or head to the drivethrough restaurant. The bottom level has a parking garage with movable gate that automatically lifts as vehicles pass by. The gas pump features a rotating hose that activates fun sound effects. The adjoining lift and lower stop sign activates lights and more car action sound effects as vehicles zoom by. Push the gate down for the red stop light and lift the gate for flashing lights. Load cars onto the clicking elevator to send them to the top all over again. The set comes with two new Little People Wheelies minivehicles (a sports car and racer), sized for little hands, with a familiar Little People character built right in. The set requires three AA batteries, which are not included. This is just one key item in the Fisher-Price line. To read about additional items, turn to page 54.

Mega Brands The fall introduction in MEGA Brands’ Battle Strikers line is the extension of the Metal XS System, which introduces parts made of metal alloy, creating a more powerful battle. Customize the weapon, booster, and tip to change the Striker’s performance in three categories: offense, defense, and control. The Metal XS2 Starter Set line contains three starter sets each with a unique launcher related to its specific team. Slimmer lightweight hyper launchers allow for high precision during battle while retaining the same highpowered 6,000 RPM motor. The Starter Set includes Hyper Launcher, DLX Controller, and one Metal XS Striker. Use the Metal XS2 Reload Strikers to build a collection of strikers. Customize each Striker, which is based on a mythical creature, to enhance its performance. A player’s level of control increases with the new Metal FX series. Players can change the Striker’s shape and abilities during the battle while controlling and attacking. Change the tip shape to alter movement patterns and control or activate the “twin spin” barrier to absorb enemy attacks. Additional accessories in the line include the Battle Strikers Stunt Arena. A spinning piece in the center changes the playing surface with three interchangeable plates. Use the cog plate for high-impact hits, the cone plate to recharge the Striker during battle, or the flat plate for a moving battle area. Two knockout areas along the edge force players to play strategically. This is just one key item in the MEGA Brands line. To read about additional items, turn to page 64.

48 TOYS & FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT FEBRUARY 2010


Cartoon Network and Jazwares Jazwares has been awarded the master toy license for the Emmy Award-nominated animated television series Robot Chicken. The sketch comedy, created and executive produced by Seth Green and Matthew Senreich and airing on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim block, parodies pop culture using stop-motion animation of toys, action figures, dolls, and various additional objects. The line of toys and collectibles from Jazwares will include a range of action figures and character sculpts based on the series’ iconic characters such as the Humping Robot, The Nerd, Robot Chicken, and others. Product is expected to roll out this spring. “Jazwares is extremely proud to add Robot Chicken to our growing licensed portfolio,” says Laura Zebersky, executive vice-president sales, Jazwares. “We are always looking for new and innovative

Have extra Have extra inventory? in ventory?

Donate Donate it to to K.I.D.S. K.I.D.S.

ways to bring popular licenses to life and we’re very excited to design and launch the Robot Chicken product line for fans in 2010.” “As one of Adult Swim’s most popular original series, Robot Chicken is a show that pays tribute to toys and the creativity they inspire,” says Christina Miller, senior vice-president, CNE. “Creating figures and sculpts based on the series’ characters and sensibility is a natural extension of the brand and Jazwares has done a terrific job making a full line that all fans should be excited about.” Since its debut on Adult Swim in 2005, Robot Chicken has become the top-rated original series on the network. Last month, the network and the series creators announced a deal for a two-season, 40-episode pick-up for season five and season six.

Your Your excess excess e product product can can es put smiles on faces! on faces!

Poverty iiss a disaster Poverty disaster that that happens happens every brings hope e very day, day, but but K.I.D.S. K.I.D.S. b rings h ope 4.5 tto o4 .5 million million cchildren hildren aand nd ttheir heir ffamilies amilies every every yyear. ear. D Donating onating your y our e excess xcess apparel, apparel, shoes, shoes, toys, toys, books b ooks a and nd juvenile juvenile products products ccan an provide provide your your company company with with a g enerous ttax ax d eduction and and generous deduction rreplace eplace despair despair with with dignity. dignity. FFill ill out out the the donation donation form form o nline online aatt w www.KIDSdonations.org ww.KIDSdonations.org or or call call 1-800-266-3314. 1 -800-266-3314.

FEBRUARY 2010 TOYS & FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT 49


Read It Here First! A

Toy Fair 2010

MEGA CELEBRATION: INTERVIEW WITH VIC BERTRAND, CIO

In 1967, my father Victor Bertrand Sr. and

EXPLAIN

THIS YEAR’S CELEBRATION.

mother Rita founded the company as Ritvik

Holdings, a Canadian toy distributor. It has grown into a leader in the Canadian toy market. In the 1980s, my father

interactive platform for our consumers to

immerse themselves in the world of MEGA Bloks. In the second half of the year, we are plan-

ning some exciting birthday giveaways, contests, sampling campaigns, and

birthday party-themed events at

wanted to expand the business beyond Canada. He

an opportunity in the mar-

with

birthday of the launch of the

help

of

FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT, is

large-sized MEGA Bloks for

which set the foundation for

the

(which, along with TOYS &

1985, my dad launched the

toddlers and preschoolers,

birthday-

www.TimetoPlayMag.com

first MEGA Bloks line. In

part of aNb Media); and a

massive social media cam-

paign using our mom club and social

what is now our hit Maxi block line. After several

media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.

children such as the Mini line for kindergarten-aged

WHAT

years of success, we were inspired to expand the

line and create construction sets geared for older

children that was introduced in 1989 and the Micro line for children ages 5 and up launched in 1991.

The 25th birthday of MEGA Bloks will allow

WHAT

DOES THIS MEAN TO CONSUMERS?

us to take consumers down memory lane and reconnect them with a brand they have come to

love and trust. We are currently developing a microsite that will engage consumers with an

interactive historical timeline. It will feature an

evolution of the company and product lines and a mom club/parent community amongst other fea-

tures. Our end goal is to make this microsite an

This landmark year reinforces our position DOES THIS MEAN TO THE INDUSTRY?

within the industry as a company that has a

strong and significant historical background as well as a bright future ahead.

The brand has all the attributes of a product

line that consumers identify with such as creativity, imagination, open-ended play, education,

quality, value, and more. This is an enduring position that we will continue to focus on.

The industry can expect some exciting cele-

bratory events at Toy Fair. We will be throwing

a MEGA birthday party open to all attendees fea-

turing a mini MEGA Bloks museum, 25th-branded party, and a MEGA Bloks-themed birthday

50 TOYS & FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT FEBRUARY 2010

WHAT

STATEMENT DO YOU WANT TO MAKE TO

MEGA Brands has experienced impressive suc-

THE INDUSTRY ABOUT

MEGA BRANDS’ FUTURE?

such as Marvel, Halo, and Nickelodeon. Today,

line;

themed “Mommy Parties”

2010 celebrates the 25th

(as seen on the TLC series Cake Boss).

25th birthday and our new product

ket for growth.

cake made by New Jersey bakery Carlo’s Bakery

cess with MEGA Bloks. We are driving the con-

parenting sites promoting the

struction blocks and saw

NANCY LOMBARDI

retail; a banner ad campaign that will be featured on top

was interested in con-

BY

struction category with innovative concepts such as Dragons and Streetz and licensed properties we are more than just blocks. MEGA Brands has

also become one of the key players in the stationery, arts, crafts and activities, and puzzle sectors, successfully filling retail shelves with RoseArt and MEGA Puzzles products.

When we first started, we were a local,

Canadian company with approximately 30 employees. With humble beginnings, after 25 years, we

have grown into a diverse and global company, with award-winning products filling aisles in toy and stationery sections in more than 100 countries.

We are looking forward to much success in

2010. This year, we are very excited to launch our new preschool line based on Thomas & Friends.

We are also introducing building and action sets

based on Marvel’s Iron Man 2 and Marvel’s Superhero Squad TV series.

With the successful release of Microsoft’s

Halo-licensed offerings in 2009, we are expand-

ing our product lineup to include more themed buildable sets and figures. Throughout the years, we have solidified our preschool portfolio with Caterpillar (CAT) and Nickelodeon, and continue

to expand and grow with these licenses. In addition, we will be launching a product line inspired by the original Maxi blocks from 1985.



Toy Fair 2010

COMPILED BY LAURIE LEAHEY

& PAUL NARULA

Welcome to Toy Fair 2010. The following pages represent just some of what will be on display at this year’s show in New York City’s Jacob Javits Convention Center. Mattel For spring 2010, Mattel will launch new careers for Barbie. players. Compete to be the first to unscramble the most The Barbie I Can Be… doll assortment includes Barbie as a pop culture phrases. Fully equipped with speakers and pet vet, a bride, a rock star, a race car driver, and a pediatrician. LED lights, Pop Swap features five skill levels and Each doll is packaged with a code that unlocks exclusive online hundreds of pop culture phrases from TV, music, movies, content. The dolls are for ages 3 and up. and more. It is for ages 8 and up. The Barbie Glam Vacation House is a two-story house with With the Thomas & Friends Birthday Surprise Game, six glam-o-rama play areas—living room, bedroom, kitchen, preschoolers help Thomas and his engine friends deliver bathroom, patio, and breakfast bar. It also includes clip ’n flip birthday treats to the party. Players select their favorite accessories, including a TV, chandelier, and tiki lights, engine piece to race around the Island of Sodor, matchwhich can be arranged and rearranged around the ing the most party favors. The first player to go all the house. The house folds up quickly and can be taken on way around the track and deliver the treats wins. The the go. It is for ages 3 and up. game is for ages 3 and up. The latest Barbie direct-to-DVD movie is Barbie Making its debut on Cartoon Network last fall, Hot in a Mermaid Tale. The Merliah doll, based on the Wheels Battle Force 5 is an action-adventure animated star of the movie, features a transformation element. Polly Pocket Tropical Splash Adventure Playset TV series. The elite team of drivers, Battle Force 5, drive Pull down the doll’s hood and the doll transforms ultra-fast, battle-ready vehicles as they defend Earth from from a girl into a mermaid. Merliah’s hair color changes and body art the robotic armies of The Sark and the barbaric predators, The Vandals. Kids appears on the doll’s stomach, arm, and toes when placed in cold water. can use the Mobi-Com Mobile Command Center to play out the action from The doll is for ages 3 and up. the show and store all of the 1:64-scale team vehicles. The command As a licensee for Disney/Pixar’s Cars, Mattel center also features a die-cast car launcher and battle mode transformawill add new character vehicles and playsets to its tion complete with pop-up missile turrets and launching projectiles. lineup. The Cars Color Changers Playset lets kids The playset is for ages 4 and up. give cars a custom paint job at Ramone’s House The Polly Pocket Tropical Splash Adventure Playset includes a of Body Art. Kids change the paint job of their pool, jacuzzi, hammock, palm trees, a Polly doll, a pet monkey, and Cars Color Changers vehicles with a simple spray lots of island-themed accessories. Girls can activation or with the use of the water dunk tank. start by winding the leaves up to the top of the Radica’s Pop Swap The playset is for ages 3 and up. trees and placing Polly and her pet monkey The Disney Princess Transforming Castle is each in their own tree. Then let go and Polly full of surprises. The fairytale castle opens to reveal a bedroom with and her monkey will race down the trees. A dolphin a fold-out bed, armoire, and vanity. It can also be taken on the go. leaps out of the water to indicate a winner. Girls Dolls are not included. The castle is for ages 3 and up. can also dip Polly’s hair into the water for a colorNew from Radica comes the Pop Swap game. This compact, change effect that gives her blonde hair a purple electronic handheld mind twist game can be played by up to five streak. The playset is for ages 4 and up.

52 TOYS & FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT FEBRUARY 2010


t us a t i s ir Vi y Fa ! o T 7 NY 176 h t o Bo


Toy Fair 2010 Fisher-Price When Sing-a-majigs sing, their little mouths open wide, showing off little teeth. Every plush Sing-a-majig features three modes of play. First they talk in gibberish, then they each sing their own song, and when kids put them all together, Sing-a-majigs erupt into a harmonic chorus. As their motto says, “They Love Nothing Better, Than Singing Together.” Sing-a-majigs will debut in May with four characters—Lil, in red, who sings “Where Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone”; Louise, in pink, who sings “Skip to My Loo”; Archie, in teal, who sings “When the Saints Go Marching In”; and Ranger, in yellow, who sings “Home on the Range.” Two additional characters—Suzie, in purple, who sings “Oh Suzanna,” and Tony, in green, who sings “On Top of Old Smoky”—follow later this fall. Sing-a-majigs are for ages 3 and up. Imaginext Big Foot The Monster is a remote-controlled monster with lots of personality. The remote control has a toggle and six buttons. The toggle enables Big Foot to walk forward and backward and the six buttons make him happy, angry, sleepy, or fun. The last two buttons allow Big Foot to throw a ball and exercise. Big Foot also features two interactive buttons, one on its belly and one in its mouth. Press the button on the belly to hear Big Foot laugh. The button in its mouth makes Big Foot chew and burp. All buttons on Big Foot and on the remote control feature different sounds and speech if they are held down. Big Foot the Monster comes with a remote control, a ball, a leaf, and a rechargeable battery. The remote control requires two AA batteries, which are not Kid-Tough Video included. Big Foot is for ages 3–8. Camera The Kid-Tough Video Camera evokes a real video camera, with the added benefit of being tough enough and easy enough for preschoolers to use. The camera features simple controls (no reading required) and large buttons. There is a 1.5-inch color LCD preview screen, sturdy rubberized dual-handle grips, built-in memory for storing up to five minutes of video, and an SD card slot. The video camera also

54 TOYS & FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT FEBRUARY 2010

includes a TV out jack, USB cable for computer connection, and simple software to get the pictures from the video camera to the computer. It comes in pink and blue. The video camera requires four AA batteries, which are not included. It is for ages 3 and up. The Kid-Tough Music Player includes realistic features and is also tough enough and easy enough for preschoolers to use. There are simple controls (no reading required) and large buttons. The music player features built-in speakers, a sing-along microphone, a one-inch-by-two-inch black-andwhite LCD screen, a carry handle, built-in memory to store more than four hours of music, five sing-along songs, volume control, a headphone jack, a USB cable for computer connection, and software that makes it easy to get music from the home PC to the Kid-Tough Music Player. It is compatible with the most formats of digital music. It comes in pink and blue. The music player requires four C batteries, which are not included. It is for ages 3 and up. Celebrating Dora the Explorer’s 10th anniversary, the We Did It Dora doll features a new take on Dora’s signature “We Did It” song and dance. Kids can dance along as Dora pumps her arms and sways side to side to the beat. The doll includes four modes of play: Teach Me (where Dora teaches kids the “We Did It” dance); “We Did It” Dance, Freeze Dance; and Say it Two Ways bilingual dance game. We Did It Dora includes four AA batteries and is for ages 3 and up. Fisher-Price has signed on as a Thomas & Friends licensee. The Trackmaster Zip, Zoom & Log Adventure Playset features a motorized Thomas engine, a zip line, and a motorized logging mill. It connects to all TrackMaster track and destinations and is for ages 3 and up. Follow Me Thomas is a chunky Thomas engine and kid-controlled lantern. As kids point the light from the lantern, Thomas will follow the light in every direction thanks to IR technology. Follow Me Thomas features speech, prompts, and sound effects. Press one of three large buttons on the side of the lantern to activate pre-programmed moves. Follow Me Thomas is for ages 2 and up. Sing-a-majigs



Toy Fair 2010 Hasbro Hasbro’s new G.I. JOE products include the G.I. cakes, brownies, cookies, and more. The oven comes JOE 3.75-inch Rip Attack Vehicles. These powerful with three different mixes, two baking pans, two utennew vehicle launchers allow kids to take control of sils, a pan pusher, two warming cups, and the action. Load the vehicle into the launcher, pull recipes/instructions. One 100-watt standard light bulb the ripcord, and watch the vehicles go. Each comes is required but not included. It is for ages 8 and up. with a launcher, vehicle, and exclusive 3.75-inch The My Little Pony brand introduces family play figure. They are for ages 4 and up. with a new collection of figures and playsets that feaThe G.I. JOE Snake Eyes Sword and Mask ture My Little Pony characters as little ponies accomRoleplay Set lets kids take on the role of Snake Eyes panied by their mothers and siblings. Girls can join litfrom the G.I. JOE team. The katana-style sword featle Pinkie Pie and Pinkie’s mom for an adventure in tures special lights, sounds, and a secret dart launcher the My Little Pony Family Convertible. This colorful hidden in the handle. The set is for ages 5 and up. pink and purple car features blue and yellow The Baby Alive 1st For Me Dolls line encourembossed balloons and a car seat for Pinkie Pie. The ages the earliest care-giving experiences for girls as car comes with a grocery bag, lunch pail, and travel young as 18 months. These plush-bodied dolls “coffee cup.” It is for ages 3 and up. Easy-Bake Oven & Snack Center respond when little mommies cuddle or “feed” Pinkie Pie and friends will enjoy the view of them. Each of the 1st For Me Dolls is machine Ponyville from the top of the My Little Pony washable. The first doll in this line is Baby Alive Sips & Cuddles. Girls Ponyville Ferris Wheel playset. This carnival ride features five colorful can “feed” this plush doll from the yellow bottle tethered to its arm and the gondolas shaped like desserts and each can hold a Ponyville figure. The doll will “slurp” it up. The doll also responds to hugs and coos like a real real working ferris wheel plays carnival music. The playset comes with a baby. The doll requires two AA batteries, which are included. Pinkie Pie figure. It is for ages 4 and up. With the Baby Alive Better Now Baby doll, girls can play doctor to The Strawberry Shortcake Splash and Petal Pool playset can be filled with make the doll feel better. Use the stethoscope to check the heartbeat, water. Press down on the sunflower leaf for a real shower. Glide the “feed” the doll plenty of fluids from the sippy cup, and change Baby Strawberry Shortcake doll down the pink waterslide for a ride into the pool. Alive’s diaper. The Baby Alive Better Now Baby doll will take the “med- Dry off the sweet-smelling doll with the fabric towel and put on the sun bonicine” from the “magic” spoon. Cover the net so Strawberry can stay cool. Some assembly boo-boos with adhesive strips and cuddle the G.I. JOE 3.75-inch is required. The playset is for ages 4 and up. Rip Attack Vehicles doll in its soft blanket. When the doll feels With the Strawberry Shortcake Story in a better, the thermometer’s teddy bear face will Box assortment, girls can help Strawberry turn from a sad face into a smile. No batterwhip up “cookies” in the kitchen with the ies are required. The doll is for ages 3 and up. Cookie Celebration set, make sure The Easy-Bake Oven & Snack Center is Strawberry is clean in the Berry Bubbly Bath back in its original aqua color. The classic sideset, or pick out outfits with the Sweetest loading oven that bakes with a light bulb Styles set. Each playset includes two scented returns to let bakers-in-the-making whip up mini-dolls and several themed accessories. tasty snacks for friends and family, including They are for ages 4 and up.

56 TOYS & FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT FEBRUARY 2010


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Toy Fair 2010 Jakks Pacific Jakks Pacific is expanding its Disney Fairies collection with new dolls and roleplay products for 2010. The Magical Fairy Talents Playset features five talent areas inspired by the five main Disney Fairies. Each 4.5-inch Disney Fairies doll (and the included Tinker Bell) activates light, motion, and sound by proximity. Jakks will also release a number of new products for the brand in the 4.5-inch scale. The Magic Glow Fairies have wings that light up in three different patterns when the button at the waist is activated. The company has also created the Disney Fairies nine-inch Talent Light Fairy, which comes with a Fairy Scepter that controls light and sound. The Bella Sara line from Jakks will continue to grow with new products such as the Bella Sara Mom & Babies line, a two-pack that includes a mother and baby horse. Jakks has also developed new five-inch figures of Magical Horses and Winged Horses. The Hello Kitty line from Jakks will also expand as Sanrio celebrates its 50th anniversary. The new 50th Anniversary Beanies feature Hello Kitty dressed as other Sanrio characters. Also available at mass retailers for the first time will be the Hello Kitty Sanrio Collector’s Plush, which will feature Hello Kitty and all her friends together in a 50th anniversary gift box. Jakks is also releasing a new 12-inch Hello Kitty in a number of new designs. Jakks Pacific’s line of In My Pocket figures and playsets will also have new products added to the collection. The Puppy In My Pocket 2-Packs feature two puppy figures with removable fashions. The Puppy In My Pocket Accessory pack also comes with two puppy figures, but has an additional number of accessory packs to decorate and style the figures. The newest In My Pocket line, Baby In My Pocket, will also expand with the new Collect & Play Kits, featuring two poseable babies. Jakks’ Club Penguin line will add new plush products.

The 6.5-inch collector Penguin Plush features serialized and unique plush penguins. The four-inch Puffle plush is a smaller version of the Puffles from Club Penguin. The Puffle Clip-On line features the Puffle characters in a clip-on two-inch scale plush figure. Jakks will also introduce the new TV Games Motion video game line, which combines Jakks Plug It In & Play technology with accelerometer technology to create a new line of motion games. The gamer moves the controller to control the action on the screen. As the official toy licensee of TNA Wrestling, Jakks is introducing new Deluxe TNA figures. The seven-inch figures are fully articulated. In addition to new figures, Jakks has created the new Six Sided Ring, TV Games Motion a replica of the real TNA ring. Phineas & Ferb For collectors and fans of the Ultimate Fighting Best Game Ever Championship (UFC), Jakks created the Deluxe Figures Two-Packs, celebrating famous MMA fights. Each figure has 29 unique points of articulation. Jakks has also developed two-inch Micro MMA figures, available in two-packs and compatible with the 15-inch Octagon Micro playset. Jakks’ new TollyTots line features a wide variety of products to help little girls play with their TollyTots baby dolls. The Baby Food Fun & Convertible Swing High Chair Set is designed to give a girl everything she needs to feed her TollyTot, from apples and pears to a fork and spoon. The Bathtime & Royal Potty Set comes with a potty and a bathtub with removable showerhead for girls to treat their dolls to bath time. Also coming up from Jakks is the licensed Fisher-Price Baby So New Deluxe Playset. This all-in-one playset comes with a newborn baby doll, as well as a stroller, a diaper bag, a bed, and other essentials for the doll. The Fisher-Price AllIn-One Nursery Playcenter offers little girls four ways to play and care for their baby dolls. The set comes with a kitchen, a nursery, a feeding center, and more.

Hello Kitty 50th Anniversary Beanie

60 TOYS & FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT FEBRUARY 2010



Toy Fair 2010 LEGO LEGOville expands with new DUPLO sets. wrestler, zombie, ninja, cheerleader, skater, tribal With the Big Farm set, kids can build the barn, hunter, circus clown, magician, deep sea diver, then take care of the animals. The set includes a robot, nurse, caveman, and astronaut. There are sheep, calf, cow, hen, pig, dog, and three figures. 16 figures to collect per batch release. Each set is The 68-piece set is for ages 1.5 and up. sold separately. New under LEGO’s DUPLO brand are Toy New LEGO City sets include an Airport. Kids Story sets. Jessie’s Roundup lets kids build the can construct all the details, such as revolving Sheriff’s office. It comes with Jessie and doors, the ticket counter, security checkpoint with Bullseye figures. With the Pizza Planet Truck X-ray machine, a baggage claim carousel, and a set, kids can help Buzz Lightyear and the Alien café. It includes a control tower, passenger plane, DUPLO Learning rescue their friends using the Pizza Planet truck. and four minifigures. It is for ages 6 and up. The set includes a gas station, truck, and Alien LEGO is a licensee for Disney’s new film and Buzz figures. The Great Train Chase set includes a train engine with Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. With the Prince of Persia Fight for caboose, a cactus, and Woody, Jessie, and Buzz Lightyear figures. Each set the Dagger set, kids help Dastan run up walls and jump from balcony to is for ages 2 and up. balcony, escaping hidden traps along the way. The 258-piece set includes There are also Toy Story sets in LEGO’s original line. Construct a Dagger of Time and four minifigures. It is for ages 7 and up. Buzz lets kids build the space ranger hero and help him prepare to batNew to LEGO’s Star Wars line is the Rebel Trooper Army Pack. Build tle Zurg. Buzz comes complete with a closing visor and flick missile up the Rebel forces and add to their defenses on Hoth, while helping to laser cannon. The set also includes one green alien figure. The 205- keep Imperial troopers at bay by firing flick missiles from the Rebel compiece set is for ages 7 and up. bat speeder. The set includes a Zev Senesca and three Rebel troopers with Toy Story 3-branded LEGO sets include Lotso’s Dump Truck, Trash new Hoth helmet minifigures. The 79-piece set is for ages 6 and up. Compactor Escape, and Western Train. All sets feature scenes and characFor Ben 10: Alien Force, the Spidermonkey set lets builders transform ters from the upcoming movie. Ben 10 into Spidermonkey. Spidermonkey features glow-in-the-dark eyes In its DUPLO Bricks & More line, LEGO introduces DUPLO and a chest Omnitrix. The 21-piece set is for ages 5 and up. Learning. This versatile box of DUPLO bricks opens young minds to LEGO Games is a new way to play board games. Each game includes building fun and counting at the same time. a LEGO die, building instructions, and rules. Robo Champ Using numbered bricks, parents can create endIn Robo Champ, players must build a robot less games to promote counting, sorting, stackwith all the correct-color parts to win the troing, and more. The set includes bricks numphy and be named Robo Champ. Each roll of bered one–10, accessories, and cat and boy figthe dice brings a chance to collect the parts ures. This 58-piece set is for ages 2 and up. needed or grab them from other players. The LEGO Minifigures gain 32 new faces 119-piece game is for two to three players ages through the new collectible Series 1. Each 6 and up. Other games include Magikus, minifigure and its accessories come sealed in a Monster 4, Lava Dragon, Race 3000, Pirate mystery bag. Among the new characters are a Code, Minotaurus, a Harry Potter game, crash test dummy, forester, cowboy, super Ramses Pyramid, and Creationary.

62 TOYS & FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT FEBRUARY 2010



Toy Fair 2010 Mega Brands MEGA’s Dragons Universe is a buildable unitoddlers to experience the movements of simple verse of warriors and dragons. The Alliance gear and shape patterns on the removable stackWarbyrd buildable set includes Alliance Captain, er top. The set also features a transparent bottom General, and exclusive Chief Commander figures for see-through storage. It is for ages 1 and up. with shields and weapons, as well as an exclusive New MEGA Bloks building sets celebrate Dora the Explorer’s 10th anniversary. Dora’s Clawripper Dragon with buildable, removable Play Date Adventure includes Dora, Boots the weapons and Power Core in its chest. Alliance Monkey, Tico the Squirrel, and Swiper the Warbyrd products are for ages 6 and up. Fox figures. The miniature version of Dora’s New Halo sets include the Halo UNSC home features a working door and multiple Pelican Dropship. This 920-piece vehicle holds indoor- and outdoor-themed pieces, such as up to four mini figurines and includes a real flowers, trees, patio pieces, Dora’s couch, a working cockpit with space for two mini figBattle Strikers 2.0 Tournament Set desk and bed, and a radio that really works. It urines, four rotating thrusters, a real working is for ages 3 and up. rear bay door, and two UNSC Pelican pilots with MEGA’s new line of Ni-Hao, Kai-lan sets includes Tolee’s Treehouse. This M6D pistols. All Halo products are for ages 8 and up. MEGA’s Streetz TwinLoop Dragway is a buildable set with light-up buildable playset allows preschoolers to reenact scenes from the TV show or cars, stunt action cars, speed boosters, and a car container. Combine the create their own. The set includes Kai-lan and Tolee figurines, a twirling eledragway with other Streetz sets and build on with more MEGA Bloks. vator, and a Lulu and Hoho block. It is for ages 3 and up. Streetz products are for ages 6 and up. The MEGA Bloks Spin ’N Sorter is a creative building set that allows The new Battle Strikers Series 2.0 system introduces weapons with toddlers to experience the movements of simple gear and shape patterns on weighted metal rings on the inside for more speed and power. The series the removable stacker top. The set also features a transparent bottom for 2.0 Tournament Set includes two Turbo Launchers to rev up a Striker to see-through storage. It is for ages 1 and up. The 3-in-1 Ride-on Fire Truck acts as a walker, ride-on, and dump more than 6,000 RPM, two controllers, the knockout arena, and Series 2.0 Strikers—Scarab for defense and Scorpion for offense. Battle Strikers are truck. The truck features a fire hose steering wheel, lights, and sound for ages 6 and up. effects. It also comes with 10 MEGA Bloks. It is for ages 1 and up. To celebrate Thomas & Friends’ 65th MEGA Bloks Match & Build utilizes simple board and building gameplay to help kids with anniversary, MEGA Brands is creating new Thomas & Friends Busy Day at the sets, including Busy Day at the Quarry. memory, numbers, matching, and motor skills. Quarry playset With this playset, kids can use the storage Players travel around the park to collect animal bucket to climb and race Thomas and blocks. The first player to collect all five animal Mavis up and down the ramps. The real part blocks and assemble the animal wins. It is working crane helps Thomas lift rocks. for two to four players ages 3–5. This buildable, four-foot-long set includes The MEGA Bloks Build ’N Discover World is a tool to help build developmental detailed Thomas and Mavis characters, a skills for infants and toddlers. The Spin ’N crane, coal, a coal chute, buildable blocks, Sorter is a creative building set that allows and ramps. It is for ages 3 and up.

64 TOYS & FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT FEBRUARY 2010



Toy Fair 2010 Spin Master New from Spin Master’s Air Hogs is the Vectron Wave, a with easy-to-change wigs, 14 points of articulation, and Air Hogs Vectron Wave hand-size UFO. Equipped with a level sensor, the glass-like eyes. The doll is for ages 5 and up. Vectron Wave can sense objects below it and will Magic Fabric sticks to itself without sewing, glue, or automatically adjust its height accordingly to heat. Kids can make endless combinations of puffy hover above them. The Vectron Wave does not creations with the precut sheets of self-sticking need a remote control and is guided by a wave of fabric. The craft cloth can be repositioned if the hand (or other object). It comes with one LIPO kids want to change their creations. Then, just battery, but also requires six AA batteries, which are use the rollers to make the creation permanent. not included. It is for ages 8 and up. Magic Fabric kits, for ages 6 and up, include the Magic Aqua Sand is sand that never gets wet. Pour it in water and build sculp- Fabric Studio, Magic Fabric Starter Kit, Magic Fabric Activity Sets, and tures, pillars, and other creations. Then take it out of the water and it Magic Fabric Character Refills. The kits are for ages 6 and up. instantly dries. Kids can create underwater worlds using plastic molds, Mighty Beanz are zany “bean” characters. Each belongs to a specific special tools, and their imaginations. Aqua Sand can be used over and over Bean Team and each team has a rarity level—common, rare, and ultra again. Aqua Sand themed kits include Mermaid Island/Ocean Adventure, rare—to signify its collectible value. There are 20 different Mighty Beanz Aqua Sand Bottle Kits, and Polar Playground. Aqua Sand is for ages 4–7. Team themes, including zoo, prehistoric, music, fast food, space, fantasy, Featuring all-new looks, attack features, shapes, and sizes, new and sport. Mighty Beanz are for ages 5 and up. Bakugan gaming strategies and shooting skills take competition to a new Moon Dough is a soft, marshmallow-like molding compound that does not level. Bakugan characters will be available in an assortment of packs with stick or stain and never dries out. With the Moon Dough Barnyard kit, kids can hundreds of unique warriors to bring into battle. Kids can increase their create fences, pastures, and more using the included molds, themed playmat, Bakugan’s G-Power strength with the new Bakugan Battle Gear. The and three colors of Moon Dough. Moon Dough is for ages 2–4. Bakumeter is the ultimate brawler’s tool that lets kids instantly calculate Pop on Pals is a world of pals, pets, vehicles, and playsets that can or boost their G-Power points. Customize an arena to increase difficulty or be mixed and matched. Just press down on the pal and pop on mix-anddo trick shots with the hard-base Battle Arena. It comes with attachable match rings. A fireman can become a musician, a princess becomes a ramps. All Bakugan products are for ages 5 and up. baker, and a puppy becomes a ballerina. Pals are With the Dairy Queen Blizzard Maker, kids can sized for small hands and feature signature “pop” make their very own Dairy Queen treats right at sounds. They come in a variety of themed packs home. The Blizzard Maker comes with everything and are for ages 2–4. kids need to make treats, including ice cream mix, Based on the Nickelodeon animated series and the toppings, spoons, and a cup. Just add half and half upcoming movie The Last Airbender, Spin Master’s cream, ice, and salt to cool, and the Blizzard Maker The Last Airbender toy line brings the adventure from pours out ice cream. Add some of the included topthe screen to the home. Watch Aang’s head and eyes pings or make new creations. It is dishwasher safe light up on the Fight n’ Flight Aang figure. Aang’s staff and for ages 4 and up. spins around while sound effects play. The Last This fall the Liv dolls welcome a new character Airbender Action Figures are 3.75 inches and come to the crew. Hayden is an animal lover and takes in Fight n’ Flight Aang with one unique weapon or accessory. All The Last stray animals. Like other Liv dolls, Hayden comes Airbender products are for ages 5 and up.

66 TOYS & FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT FEBRUARY 2010



Toy Fair 2010 Fox Licensing

Schylling

Twentieth Century Fox Licensing & Merchandising (Fox Licensing) will add to its toy line for Avatar with a second wave of action figures from Mattel; limited-edition mini busts from Gentle Giant; statues, maquettes, lifesized busts, and dioramas from Sideshow Collectibles; a line of costumes from Rubie’s Costume Co.; and jewelry and prop weaponry from The Noble Collection. Fox Licensing will introduce new lines for Aliens and Predators. NECA will premiere a full range of action figures and bobble heads based on the upcoming Predators (July 9, 2010), as well as previous films in the franchise. Sideshow Collectibles will debut a line of high-end collectibles for Aliens and Predators. For The A-Team (June 11, 2010), Jazwares will showcase a line of action figures, vehicles, and electronics. For the film version of the book series Diary of a Wimpy Kid (April 2, 2010), Pressman Toy will produce 200-piece puzzles based on the book art and an original board game. For Ramona and Beezus (August 13, 2010), Madame Alexander will launch a line of collectible dolls.

Schylling will introduce new additions to its preschool lineup. The Tin Cash Register with working buttons and opening drawer helps children learn to count through pretend play. The Tin Chime Ball makes a chime sound when rolled and the Tin Music Radio with winding knob plays music and features moving images. This year Schylling is the exclusive U.S. distributor of Ambi Toys. Designed in Holland, Ambi’s brightly colored toys are receiving new try-me packaging. Many of the bestsellers in this infant and preschool line are back including, Baby’s First Car, Chirpy, Focus Pocus, One Man Band, and Tedd & Tess Carousel.

Tin Cash Register

Giant Tree House The Giant Tree House LLC will debut a new lineup of games and garden products for children. The new game line offers fun twists on classic play patterns and is designed to get kids active. With the Funny Face Yard Pool, kids can play pool in the backyard. This billiards game set includes mallets, billiards balls, and a pool table. Dizzy Darts are safe yard darts that spin when kids toss them in the air. See who has the best aim by launching these spinning characters in the air and trying to land them on the target. Buzzy Badminton is a cross between tennis and badminton. Each birdie has a character face and the net is a creative fence that comes from the ground up. All games are for ages 3 and up.

68 TOYS & FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT FEBRUARY 2010

HABA Pure Nature Clutching Cotti

HABA’s new 2010 products include Pure Nature, a new line of eco-friendly plush baby and toddler toys. Each product is made using Öko-Tex certified materials and maintains HABA’s distinctive aesthetic. Pure Nature Cuddlekin Cotti is a soft plush sheep. Pure Nature Clutching Cotti is a soft plush sheep clutching toy. Both products are for ages 6 months and up. Lirum and Larum Wooden Rattles are brightly colored rattles with a movable wooden ring in the center. They are available in two color combinations: blue and green or pink and orange.


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Toy Fair 2010 Alex The Alex Jr. line of developmental, plush, and bath toys for babies expands with 19 new toys. Tub Soup comes with nine pieces that stick to the tub wall, plus a pot, spoon, and salt shaker squirter. It is for ages 2 and up. Twenty-eight new products have been added to the Little Hands line for preschoolers, including Ready, Set skill building activities, craft kits, and an interactive talking playmat. With Talk of the Farm, kids drive the truck over the musical notes and listen to the sounds of Buttercup Farm. This interactive mat helps kids learn simple phrases, counting, and how to follow directions. The mat requires three AA batteries. It is for ages 18 months and up. Talk of the Farm

Winning Moves Games Winning Moves Games brings back the classic version of Monopoly. Monopoly Classic Edition gives players the original Monopoly experience. The Classic Edition Rubik’s Wood Cube comes with high-quality components and is for two to eight players ages 8 and up. New Rubik’s Puzzles include the Rubik’s Wood Cube. Rubik’s fans can purchase an official limited-edition wooden Rubik’s Cube commemorating the 30th anniversary of the brand. It is made in the likeness of the original Rubik’s Cube. It is for ages 8 and up.

70 TOYS & FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT FEBRUARY 2010

Mindtwister USA For 2010, Mindtwister USA designed a family-style multiplayer version of its fivein-a-row game, Pentago. Pentago Multiplayer is comprised of nine game blocks instead of the original four. Play with two, three, or four players, as individuals or as teams. The new version builds on the classic Pentago movement concept (the game board constantly changes), while introducing a variety of new strategy considerations.

Uncle Milton With Uncle Milton’s Star Wars Science: Remote Controlled Lightsaber Room Light, kids can construct a Jedi lightsaber and mount it on the wall as a room light. Eight color effects let kids personalize their lightsaber, and a wireless remote control turns the light on and off. During construction, kids learn about electronics that make a lightsaber work. The Mini Lightsaber Tech Lab helps kids discover the science of light and optics as they build an 8.25-inch-long version of the lightsaber used by Remote Controlled Lightsaber Room Light Anakin Skywalker. Choose from four different-colored crystals. Two lenses demonstrate the principles of optics. Both are for ages 6 and up.



Toy Fair 2010 The Velcro Companies

Chorion

The Velcro Companies, owners of Royal Princess Castle Fantasy Deluxe the Velcro brand, are launching a new brand called Velcro Kids. This launch marks a direction to strengthen the core brand by associating the Velcro brand with goods other than hookand-loop fasteners. Featuring new soft-touch hook technologies, Velcro Kids’ initial lineup includes highquality portable playsets. The Velcro Kids playsets are constructed using a variety of wall and floor pieces. Each double-sided, fabric-covered piece is made of durable, rigid foam and has printing on both sides. Pieces can be assembled quickly and easily thanks to the new hook edges, which touch-fasten walls to floors. Each themed playset features characters and an assortment of Hoox, decorative pieces featuring soft-touch Velcro brand micro hooks on the back of tear-resistant pieces. This allows kids to easily dress, decorate, and play with the characters and play spaces over and over again, according to the company. The Velcro Kids product line, which includes the Royal Princess Castle Fantasy Deluxe, Royal Tea Party Fantasy, and Pirate Ship Adventure Deluxe playsets, is for ages 3 and up.

Chorion’s key properties include Mr. Men and Little Miss. New licensees for the apparel program include H.I.S/Bentex and MAG Brands for apparel, HYP for hosiery and socks, and Jibbitz for Crocs. Licensees for novelties and seasonal include CSS Paper Magic Group (Valentine’s, stickers, seasonal wrap), Giant Treehouse (gardening products), and Ouchies (bandages). Chorion seeks more partners for its growing novelty, seasonal, and collectible categories. Chorion is looking for new The World of Eric Carle partners in the educational toys and ELA categories. New initiatives Olivia include extending the Kids Preferred range with new infant developmental toys. New licensees on board for The World of Eric Carle include fashion and novelty T-shirts with JEM Sportswear and Future Factory for organic infant apparel. Giant Treehouse (gardening products) and Ouchies (bandages) are also on board. Also on Chorion’s agenda is Olivia, based on the best-selling book series by Ian Falconer and published by Simon & Schuster. The show airs on more than 120 broadcasters around the world. In November 2009, Simon & Schuster launched TV tie-in books in the U.S. with eight titles. More titles are in the works for 2010. Spin Master is the global master toy partner for Olivia and is developing a wide range of girls’ toys for the fall. Other toy partners on board in the U.S. include MEGA Brands and Schylling. For apparel and accessories, H.I.S./Bentex, Now & Zen, Accessory Innovations, and Planet Sox are on board. Chorion is currently accepting proposals for seasonal, sports, and outdoor categories.

Discovery Communications Discovery Communications is showcasing new product lines inspired by Discovery Channel. Tying into the MythBusters series, Discovery and its toy partner, Elmer’s, will debut the newest MythBusters Science Activity Kit. MythBusters: Science of Sports teaches how to locate the “sweet spot” on any bat and how curve balls really curve. The kit also shows “how to rest and digest” for added energy. The kit is for ages 9 and up.

72 TOYS & FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT FEBRUARY 2010


Pressman Toy The Pressman Toy Corporation has teamed up with The Jim Henson Company to produce a series of games based on Dinosaur Train, the new children’s series on PBS Kids. Pressman Toy has also teamed up with CBS Consumer Products. The companies have reached a licensing agreement that will allow Pressman Toy to create board games based on the primetime military police drama NCIS. Pressman is reinventing a number of its classic games for 2010. Disney Rummikub for Kids is a new version of Pressman’s classic Rummikub game that features popular Disney characters. The new Rummikub 8 Round Rummy Card Game is a fast-paced card game based on the rules of Rummikub. Each round has a different goal and different ways to make sets for players to score. Pressman has also created a new version of Mastermind called Mastermind Animal Towers. Designed for younger children, Mastermind Animal Towers has children stack animals in a hidden tower. For children, new licensed board games will include the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Cheese Touch Game. Looney Tunes Who Is it? and Looney Tunes Pop ‘N’ Race Game both use the classic Looney Tunes characters. For teens, Pressman has created The Vampire Diaries game, based on the television show on The CW, where players try to keep from becoming a vampire for as long as possible.

FEBRUARY 2010 TOYS & FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT 73


Toy Fair 2010 BSW Toy

University Games

BSW Toy introduces the Swirl Master. Kids add their favorite colors to spinning paper for completely unpredictable results. It includes five colors of paint, black and white paper in two shapes, and instructions. The Swirl Master requires one D battery, which is not included. The Forensic Expert kit includes components from the Be A Detective Fingerprint Science and Evidence Investigator kits and more. It includes all the tools necessary for kids to complete their own investigation, from taking fingerprints to making the arrest.

University Games’ new family game Callisto requires strategic skills and a little luck. The object of the game is to be the player who successfully places the most tiles on the board. Tiles must always be placed next to another tile of the same color. Callisto has been specially designed to accommodate two, three, or four players. A different playing surface is used to account for variations in game play and strategy with more or fewer players. The game comes with 72 plastic tiles, 12 pillars, one plastic playing board, three printed color backgrounds for two-, three-, and four-player versions, and instructions. It is for ages 7 and up. 20 Questions is the classic game of people, places, and things. Each round features a new mystery topic from history, entertainment, sports, or culture. The fewer clues a player needs to guess correctly, the farther a player moves on the board. University Game’s new edition of 20 Questions features updated mystery topics. It comes with 126 cards, four question mark playing pieces, 20 question chips, five free guess chips, a game board, and instructions. It is for two to four players ages 10 and up. Yoohoo, Can You Moo? is an animal sounds card game that is part of University Games’ Play ’n Learn System for Eric Carle products. Kids will meow, quack, and oink as they challenge one another to imitate animals and match cards. Every time players match a “ribbit” or a “moo,” they move closer to creating their own barnyard of animals. The game comes with cards and instructions. It is for two to four players ages 3 and up.

Disney Consumer Products New for Disney’s Handy Manny is the Handy Manny Construction Playset from Fisher-Price. It comes with more than 40 pieces and real building/demolishing action. Recreate action from the Handy Manny Toy Story movies with Toy Construction Playset Story Action Links from Mattel. Each set includes easy-to-connect stunts that work in any order to create a chain reaction. Other new Toy Story products include the Ultimate Buzz Lightyear from Thinkway Toys. Buzz comes to life as a robotic pal who really walks and talks thanks to a wireless infrared remote. The Toy Story Mania Plug ’n Play Game from Jakks Pacific brings the theme park ride into the home. Players point and shoot at different targets to gain points and get the high score.

74 TOYS & FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT FEBRUARY 2010

Forensic Expert kit


F.A.B./Starpoint

Buffalo Games

The new Hello Kitty Wall Scrapperz, from F.A.B./Starpoint, are part of a new class of do-it-yourself toys that applies the scrapbooking concept to a child’s wall. The kit comes with a dry erase board, stickers, paper frames, and jewels. All the items have a special adhesive that can be safely removed from a wall without damage. Additional accessories can be purchased to expand the designs.

Buffalo Games has teamed up with artist William Wegman, who is known for his photographs of his Weimaraners, Man Ray and Ray Ray. The company will launch four of Wegman’s photographs as puzzles in its 500-piece jigsaw puzzle series for 2010. The William Wegman 500-Piece Series of jigsaw puzzles will include the images Roller Rover, Stanley, Dockers, and Farm Days.

FEBRUARY 2010 TOYS & FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT 75


Toy Fair 2010 The Goldberger Company

DuneCraft

The Goldberger Company is introducing new toys to a wide variety of its existing sub-brands, as well as introducing a new sub-brand called Yum Yums. Yum Yums will feature three new dolls, including the new Musical Lights Lolli. Turning the doll’s special knob allows her to light up and play a song. Other Yum Yums dolls include Lolli with Bottle and Lolli Twins, both of which are machine washable. The company will add the new Color Me Pretty doll to its Basic Training line. This doll can be decorated and washed off to allow children to color their dolls without damaging them. Color Me Pretty includes a variety of washable markers. The Peek-A-Boo Baby is one of the new additions to the Baby’s First line. This patent-pending interactive baby doll is light-activated and will play peek-a-boo. Cover and uncover the doll’s eyes and it will say “Peek-A-Boo, I see you,” and then “Peek-A-Boo, I love you.” Also new to the Baby’s First line is the Heart Glow Baby, which has a lightup heart with a color-changing glow. The Seedlings line, Goldberger’s environmentally conscious doll line made with natural products, will also see expansion with the new Lily doll, which is made from natural cotton fabrics. The Playful Baby line is the newest product in the Mommy’s Baby sub-brand. This interactive baby will move, talk, giggle, and sing like a real-life baby when her left hand is squeezed.

DuneCraft is introducing the new Happy Cat Plant and Dog’s Delight garden kits. The Happy Cat kit comes with its own greenhouse for kids to grow a catnip plant with white and purple flowers. Once the plants have bloomed, cats will love to play with the flowers. The Dog’s Delight kit allows children to grow wheatgrass, which is often used as juice or powder, but is also a favorite plant of most dogs. DuneCraft will also be introducing a number of other new products, including the Strange Plants Dome, the Mermaid Garden, the Water Wonders Set, the HydroDome, and more.

76 TOYS & FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT FEBRUARY 2010

PlaSmart PlaSmart is the North American distributor for Yummy Dough, a new kneadable, bakeable, edible form of play dough. Children can shape and mold creations and leave them out to dry, just as with traditional clay. However, Yummy Dough can also be baked and eaten. When mixed with water, Yummy Dough becomes smooth play dough, but contains no baking agents such as yeast or baking powder. The product is safe to eat and contains only food materials.


Playmobil Playmobil will release the Large Farm this year, where kids can care for animals and help finish chores around the farm. The set comes with three figures, as well as many other accessories. The Large Zoo gives children a chance to explore and learn about different animals at a zoo. The set includes five figures, as well as an elephant, a giraffe, ponies, and more. Also coming up from Playmobil is the My Take Along Princess Fantasy chest. Opening both sides of the chest reveals the Princess’ dressing room and palace garden. The set includes four figures, as well as a white pony and many other accessories. The Great Dragon Castle (shown) includes four armored figures, as well as a red dragon, working ballista, and other accessories. The set includes a red dragon badge for children to wear as they play. The Dragon’s Dungeons playset includes three figures, a green dragon, working ballista, and many other accessories, as well as an opening gate, working light, and a green dragon badge for children. Both sets are fully compatible with one another. The Playmobil Fire Station comes with a firemen’s pole and a large gate for fire emergency vehicles. The set also includes two figures and various other accessories. The Ladder Unit comes with an extending ladder to rescue people from great heights. The ladder can pivot and extends up to 24 inches.

FEBRUARY 2010 TOYS & FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT 77


Toy Fair 2010 Jazwares Jazwares has been tapped by Twentieth Century Fox Licensing & Merchandising to develop an extensive toy line for the upcoming film, The A-Team. The launch of the Jazwares product line will include action figures, vehicles, electronics, and more. The products will launch to coincide with the movie’s release in June. New from Jazwares is the Fan Stamp kit. Fan Stamp comes with easy-to-apply Fan Stamp designs and logos that transfer onto the skin. The designs can be wiped away, but are water- and sweat-resistant. Jazwares has also been awarded the consumer electronics license for the Skelanimals brand. New products will include the Kit the Cat Alarm Clock, which features a pink LED digital display and an AM/FM radio.

Razor

Idea Storm Idea Storm has expanded its Yamodo brand with the new Yamodo! Party Time game. Party Time adds more competition and a simultaneous-play element to add excitement to the normal Yamodo play pattern. In Yamodo! Party Time, players compete at the same time to win the current judge’s favor by creating the “best” definition of the made-up word and tagline that they are given.

Kids Preferred

Razor has reinvented the electric-powered go-kart with the new Ground Force Drifter. The kart has classic go-kart styling on a sturdy steel chassis tuned for racing. The Drifter features Super Slider POM rear wheels to let riders drift through turns with a high-torque motor. The Ground Force Drifter can reach speeds of 12 MPH. Razor has also created the Sole Skate, a single-foot skate designed to let riders carve and ride without taking up space. The skate features a three-wheeled design to allow for extra mobility and has a low-profile deck to allow for fluid pushing movements. The Sole Skate is roughly the size of a shoe and can fit into most backpacks.

Kids Preferred will debut new products from six of its licensed lines for 2010. Classic Winnie the Pooh licensed products will be available for the first time in years. The company will also unveil new Elmer the Patchwork Elephant, Eric Carle, Guess How Much I Love You, Pat the Bunny, and Spot licensed products.

Sole Skate

Winnie the Pooh

78 TOYS & FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT FEBRUARY 2010


The Joester Loria Group

Haschel Toys

The Joester Loria Group has signed Berg Toys as a new licensee for the Jeep brand. Berg will produce two new go-karts featuring the Jeep brand. The Jeep Junior Pedal Go-Kart is a lightweight and compact go-kart that uses patented BFR-hub technology to make it possible to go forward and backward, freewheel, and brake easily with just a set of pedals. The Jeep Wrangler Pedal Go-Kart features a roll bar for extra safety. It also features a front swing axel, as well as a handbrake and a full size spare tire with cover on the rear.

Haschel Toys has introduced a new line of interactive large dolls called My Rascals. Three dolls—Coco, Cookie and Cupcake—each have their own personality. Each doll recognizes its accessories and says more than 200 phrases. They have animated faces including eyes that open and close and play interactive preschool games with kids. When two or more of the dolls are together, they interact with RFID technology.

Jeep Junior Pedal Go-Kart

FEBRUARY 2010 TOYS & FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT 79


Toy Fair 2010 All-Star Products

CBS Consumer Products

All-Star Products will introduce its new Bendaroos line of construction toys for 2010. The flexible building sticks are made from colored string coated with a special wax that lets children bend and twist the sticks to create a number of structures. Bendaroos stick to most household surfaces, are easy to remove, and leave no stains or residue. Bendaroos will come in a number of colors and varieties, including glow-in-the-dark. Kids can store and display their Bendaroos creation in the Creation Staion.

CBS Consumer Products, a division of CBS Entertainment, will be introducing new toys and games based on some of the network’s most popular television series, such as NCIS, Survivor, The Big Bang Theory, The Amazing Race, and more. The company will also be introducing a new line of products, including games, based on the upcoming CBS film Beastly, starring Vanessa Hudgens and Neil Patrick Harris in a hypermodern retelling of the classic Beauty and the Beast story as a teen romance, based on the novel by Alex Flinn. CBS Consumer Products will also be announcing a new expanded roster of TV-licensed video games, based on series such as NCIS and more.

Elenco

The Young Scientists Club

Elenco is expanding its Snap Circuits line of projects with the new Snap Circuits Green kit. This new kit teaches children how to “think green” and about how to use different energy sources. The kit includes everything needed to create more than 125 projects that teach children about environmentally friendly energy and how to conserve energy in their own home. The kit also comes with a fullcolor manual and an educational manual.

The Young Scientists Club is introducing new kits for 2010 with solar energy, animal tracking, and dinosaurs as themes. Two new Magic School Bus kits will be released—The Magic School Bus Solar Energy to the Rescue kit and The Magic School Bus Back in Time featuring Dinosaurs. Science on a Tracking Expedition takes science outdoors and hands-on with science experiments that teach children how to identify tracks, learn about the animals that made the tracks, cast animal tracks, and more. Keeping with the tracking theme is the new Animal Tracks set that features three traditional games with a science twist.

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Neat-Oh

Cadaco

Neat-Oh! is adding five new ZipBin products to its line of play and storage solutions for LEGO. These storage totes unzip into playmats and zip back up to form storage totes again. The LEGO Head ZipBin looks like a mini-figure’s head. The City Fire ZipBin is a large toy box that unzips to provide a firefighter landscape. The Race ZipBin is shaped like a toolbox and unzips to show the scene of a workshop, or can be partially unzipped to act as a racing ramp. Neat-Oh! will also be making two-sided large playmats for toy cars. These playmats will each have a theme for either side, as well as included toys for each theme.

Cadaco is introducing a number of new games for 2010. Tripoley Word challenges players to take the classic Tripoley game and make the switch from using a deck of cards to playing word games to win pots. Word Ace is the electronic word racing game. Players get a letter and a number and have to be the first to find a word that meets certain criteria. Cadaco will also introduce Charmed, a friendship bracelet game. Cadaco will also produce a board game based on the television show Deadliest Catch. Players take on the role of one of the captains of the ships in the television show for the Deadliest Catch Board Game.

Neat-Oh! playmats

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Toy Fair 2010 WowWee New from WowWee are the Hot Locks Girls. Each doll has hair that girls can style into any number of different hairstyles with the included accessories. The basic dolls are Lily, Nahla, Ami, and Harlow. The Deluxe Hot Locks Dolls have twice the amount of hair and come with unique hair accessories and a coordinated hair extension for the doll. The Deluxe Dolls are Ryann, Morgan, Kai, and Sydney. WowWee will also be releasing the Hot Locks Braid & Style Salon and the Hot Locks Curl & Style Salon. WowWee will be adding new products to the WowWee Alive line of plush pets. The Woodland Friends line includes six different baby animals that make animal sounds when squeezed. WowWee is also introducing The Perfect Puppy, which uses Alive Touch Technology to distinguish between a tickle, a pat, a stroke, and a hug. The puppy responds differently to each touch and plays more than 20 lifelike sounds WowWee has also created a new line Woodland Friends Owl of products that children can use to recreate their favorite foods using the microwave. The EZ 2 Make line will feature popular restaurant and food licenses. Kids can use the Entenmann’s Donut Maker Play Set to make their own donuts using the included ingredients and instructions. The donuts are made in the microwave in roughly one minute and the set includes enough to make 12 donuts. The IHOP Breakfast Maker Play Set allows kids to use the microwave to make a full breakfast. Kids can use the included ingredients to make up to eight pancakes and four waffles in the microwave.

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Step 2 Step 2 is introducing a wide range of new products for babies and toddlers in 2010. The Sizzlin’ Shapes Kitchen features shape-sorting refrigerator doors and a sink to teach kids sorting, as well as a counter that features real cooking sounds. The microwave has a clear plastic door and “clicker” buttons. For older children, the Lifestyle Sizzle & Store Kitchen features a kitchen counter with a sink, two stove burners with knobs, and more. Step 2’s Clean Sweep Vac & Dust is a vacuum and dust sweeper that can work together or separately. The toy features lights and whirling sounds and action, with agitating dust balls and bright colors to entertain children. Children can also “help around the house” with the Pop & Whirl Mower Blower, which is an Sizzlin’ Shapes Kitchen indoor/outdoor mower with a removable blower. For younger children, there’s the Pound & Sound Workbench, which is a workhorse tool bench with three areas of tinkering: pounding nails, sawing a board, and a pretend vise. The Store & Score Toy Box is a toy box designed to expand into a sports playset, featuring a soccer goal, a basketball hoop, and hockey and baseball accessories, as well as more than three-and-a halffeet of storage space for toys, games, and more. The Store & lids are easy for children to open and Score Toy close and the colors coordinate with Box bedrooms, playrooms, and garages. The toy box is for ages 2 and up. The Versa-Seat Wagon is a wagon designed for riding, with two unique wagon seats that can lift out for seating anywhere. The wagon includes seat belts for added security and an extra long handle for pulling.


Fundex Games

ThinkFun

Fundex Games has a number of new titles for 2010. Word Ball is an electronic word game that allows players to build words and pass the ball to the next player to grow the word further. NFL Arm Chair Quarterback lets players interact with a live-action football game. Players earn points by guessing the plays before they happen during the game. In Inch Worm, players roll the colored die and pull worms from the dirt one segment at a time until their color is revealed. If they free a worm, they can keep it and the player with the longest worm wins. In Billionaire, players take the role of rich financiers and can take multiple paths to making their fortune trading cards. In addition to these games, Fundex will release two new puzzles based on the artwork of Jim Shore.

ThinkFun will be adding a number of new games to its 4 and up, 8 to adult, and brainteaser categories for 2010. Zingo! 1-2-3 is the newest item in ThinkFun’s Zingo! line of products for ages 5 and up. Players must match their numbered tiles with the corresponding display on their challenge board. Also new to the Zingo! line is Zingo! to Go, which is the original Zingo! in a portable package. For ages 8 and up, ThinkFun is expanding its brainteasers line with the Zig-Zag Knot. Untying the Zig-Zag Knot requires a correct sequence of 37 moves. ThinkFun will also add new a-ha! Puzzles to the lineup: Star Burst, Straight Arrow, and Blockout.

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Toy Fair 2010 Endless Games

Cloud B

Endless Games has a number of new games for 2010. Name 5 is a new party game that asks players to name five different things that fall under the question topics, such as Tom Hanks movies, Tina Turner songs, video games, and TV dads. The game is for ages 10 and up. Also coming up from Endless Games is A Bee C, a new letter-based matching game that has players matching letters and collecting cards to win. A Bee C is for ages 5 and up. Endless Games will also be releasing new versions of Quackgammon and Husker Du, as well as updated forms of its TV game show titles, such as Password, The Newlywed Game, and The Family Feud. Endless Games is also now unveling its new line of 15 jigsaw puzzles from contemporary artists. Themes include fantasy, anime, surf art, and more.

Cloud B has launched a new collection of aromatherapy plush pillows to complement its popular Sleep Sheep & Collection. The aromatherapy pillows are made with the same fabrics as the Cloud B plush products and feature a removable inner pillow and a deep pocket for the aromatherapy pouch. Each pillow also comes with a removable fitted bamboo pillowcase.

Techno Source Techno Source will be expanding its Rubik’s Cube line with the new Rubik’s Slide Rubik’s Slide. Players can twist and shift the lighted panel on the cube to solve the puzzle. The Rubik’s Slide features more than 10,000 puzzles with multiple levels of difficulty. Techno Source will be producing a line of licensed games for Nickelodeon. Each LCD game features popular Nickelodeon characters. In Dora’s Backpack Adventure, children will help Dora recover Backpack’s explorer tools after a whirlwind. In SpongeBob’s Krabby Patty Party, kids will help SpongeBob make Krabby Patties for a party at the Krusty Krab by catching the needed ingredients. Other licensed games include iCarly Random Dancing and Go, Diego, Go! Skate to the Rescue! New from Techno Source are two lines of accessories with technological twists. The BowBiters bring back the shoelace chompers from the 1980s and ’90s, which lock laces in place. The new BowBiters Blinkers line have built-in motion sensors and LEDs to light up on every step. BowBiters will feature a number of licensed characters, such as Disney Princesses, Spider-Man, and more. Techno Source is also expanding its line of original handheld electronic games with two new games. Shake & Shoot Sports lets children play basketball, soccer, and hockey in a handheld game that features lights, sound effects, and tilt-sensor technology. Drag & Drop features three action games: Bombs Away!, Alien Attack!, and Battle Bombers! Players can use the magnetic stylus to drop balls at the appropriate targets.

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Kids Only

Schleich

Kids Only, a division of Jakks Pacific, has developed a new children’s furniture line called Puzzle Furniture. The new Puzzle Furniture: Crayola Crayon Table & Chair Set is made of durable plastic and includes Crayola Erasable Crayons and an Eraser Mitt. The set comes as a fivefoot tall crayon, but can be disassembled into a table and four chairs.

Schleich is expanding its fantasy-based Bayala collection. The Bayala collection will introduce a new tribe called the Arelan, specifically aimed at boys attracted by intrigue and mystery. Each figure has a partial feature from its animal companion—some have deer antlers, others have panther fur, and others take on features of wolves or falcons. Schleich will continue to expand its line of wildlife figures in 2010 with the addition of a lynx and cub figure, a howling wolf figure, and a family of raccoons. Schleich has also launched the new Schleich Plane, portraying a traditional fixed wing prop plane.

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Toy Fair 2010 Wild Planet In 2010, Wild Planet will introduce the newest spy vehicle in its Spy Gear line, the Spy Video TRAKR. Kids can create, download, and share custom programs for the new R/C device, which sends live digital video and audio to a full-color LCD monitor and speaker on its remote control. The TRAKR comes pre-loaded with applications and includes a USB cord, an SD Card Slot, an integrated speaker and microphone, and a software development kit. Wild Planet will also be introducing additional Spy Gear products. The Spy Gear Lie Detector Kit is a truth-detecting device that uses a galvanic skin response sensor. The Spy Decoy Listener is a listening device disguised as a cell phone. Wild Planet is also building on its relationship with Crayola with a line of games for the Crayola brand in fall 2010. The new games focus on recreating images and matching and mixing colSpy Video ors, without the use of tradiTRAKR tional art supplies. Guess My Picture provides artists with different shapes to use to build a picture, while players guess what the picture could be. Doodle Match has players matching colors and objects. Color Mix-A-Roo teaches players about blending colors with a palette that permits mixing without a mess. The company will also update its Hyper Dash game with the new Hyper Dash Extreme. The new game has more game modes and more math and educational functions. The biggest change is that the new Hyper Dash tagger picks up targets and pops them back out when a new target is tagged, continuously changing the layout of the game. Wild Planet will also introduce new games, such as Flipper Frenzy, a part of its new Smart Step Games brand. The game features four friendly sea creatures spread around the room and a shark-shaped scoop that calls out commands for children to follow and “catch” the other animals.

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GP Toys GP Toys will introduce its new line of designer toys, Monster Factory. Monster Factory is a world of 100 uniquely designed monsters, with detailed character profiles and human-like personas. GP Toys is also introducing a new line of kidfriendly cosmetics that combines collectibles with cosmetics. Sugees Flavored Lip Gloss is the first line of wearable cosmetic character collectibles.

Monster Factory Maggie

Scratch Art Scratch Art will expand its line of Scratch Magic products with the introduction of Draw & Learn Stickers. Children can create their own Sea Life, Rainforest, Arctic, and Outer Space stickers. They can scratch the sticker shapes with their own designs and decorations. Each package includes 10 Rainbow Black and Scratch & Sparkle stickers. Scratch Art has also created the Scratch Magic Scratchin’ Fashion Dress-Up Stickers, which lets children design their own looks using the included stickers. The kit also teaches travel facts and lets kids create Scratch Art postcards.


Wild Republic

Little Kids

Wild Republic has a number of new products on the market for 2010. The new Chompers line features handheld animal figurines that have working jaws. Also new from Wild Republic are the Crunchers, which are four-wheeled toy vehicles that open and close their jaws when the wheels roll. Wild Republic is introducing Bouncers, which are fabric animal shapes with an inflatable ball inside. The company is also expanding its already existing toy lines with new products, such as the new Miniature Morphs in the Morphs line. Miniature Morphs come in four new sets.

Little Kids has announced a number of new bubble toys for 2010. The latest addition to the No-Spill bubble line is the Bubble Dooods. The new collectible character-styled bubble wands feature rubber hair and bright colors. The new Bubble Light combines a flashlight and bubble play. Little Kids has been awarded the license for Jelly Belly Bubble toys. The company is introducing new products based on the brand. The Squeeze n’ Blow Pop-Up Bubbles features Jelly Belly scented bubble solution and a magical pop-up wand. Jelly Belly On-The-Go Bubbles is a small bottle with an attached wand for quick bubble fun.

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Toy Fair 2010 Interactive Toy Concepts New this year is Interactive Toy Concepts’ Duck Hunter Xtreme. Players can choose to be the hunter with the infrared blaster or control the R/C duck. Interactive Toy is also introducing the first of its Virtual Reality Control (VRC) products. These radio-controlled toys feature new accelerometer-based controls that allows children to tilt the controller to control the toy’s flight. Additionally, Interactive Toy has created the new Skeet Shooter, an extension of its Hunter series of toys. Players load the skeets into the launcher and shoot them with the infrared launcher.

Vermont Teddy Bear Vermont Teddy Bear will be introducing its newest bears for young children. The Soft Floppy Bears feature a floppy body to make them easy for babies to play with. TakeAlong-Teddies feature a soft flat body that makes them ideal for bedtime and travel. Go Green Bears are made of 100 percent recycled plastic bottles. Woolen Bears are made of 100 percent all-natural wool. Go Green Bear

Steiff Lafayette Puzzle Factory The Lafayette Puzzle Factory will be adding a wide variety of new puzzles to its lineup. The company will be expanding its Crayola-brand Chalkboard Puzzles with new two-foot-by-three-foot puzzles. Lafayette Puzzle has also teamed up with mandala artist Chris Flisher to create the Dream Circles line, which will feature six of Flisher’s works in round 500-piece puzzles. Also new for 2010 are the Fodor’s Places to Visit Puzzle Books. Each puzzle comes with a book featuring travel tips. In addition to these new puzzles, the Lafayette Puzzle Factory will also be adding new 3-D and holographic puzzles to its lineup, as well as refreshing its classic line with more than 60 new images.

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For 2010, Steiff is introducing the new Sleep Well Bear. Available in blue and pink, this new teddy bear is designed for babies and is made with extra-soft plush for comfort. Each bear is dressed in colored pajamas. The Sleep Well Bear is machine washable and contains the trademark “button in the ear” symbol of all Steiff products.


Basic Fun Basic Fun, a division of The Good Stuff Company, is bringing back the original Koosh Ball. Beginning this spring, Basic Fun will launch the original Koosh Ball in six color mixes, plus miniature Koosh Ball key chains. This fall, co-branded styles will be introduced, including Disney Toy Story Koosh and Disney Mickey & Friends Koosh. Other new 2010 products include an expansion of Basic Fun’s Fisher-Price Classics line. The four new offerings include the TV Radio, Change-ARecord Music Box (record player), Milk Wagon, and Change-A-Tune Piano. These full-sized replicas include the working features of the originals and are styled to maintain the vintage charm. Basic Fun will also introduce David Kirk’s Fun House, a

Fisher-Price TV Radio

preschool line of pull toys, stacking toys, and jackin-the-boxes. The line is designed by storyteller David Kirk, creator of the Miss Spider book series. New handheld electronic games include BopIt, Simon, and Catch Phrase in miniature carabiner format. These scaled-down miniatures work just like the originals for gameplay on the go. Basic Fun will expand on its Bakugan Battle Brawlers Mega key chains with two new series. Featuring the familiar Bakugan Battle Brawler ball, in a slightly oversized format, each Battle Brawler springs open and morphs into one of six Bakugan fighters with the press of a button. Series 5 characters include Cosmic Ingram, Fencer, and Hades. Series 6 characters include Helios, Percival, and Spindle.

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Toy Fair 2010 Puremco Puremco is releasing three new lines of dominoes: the Dino-minoes, Zoo-minoes, and Aquaminoes. Each set of the double-six dominoes has seven different images of the topic they cover to create a more entertaining domino experience.

R&R Games R&R Games will introduce three new games. Masters of Venice places players in Venice of the 1400s, where they play as traders seeking to become the Master of Venice. In Pants on Fire, players must discover who is telling the truth and who is lying. Finally, in Pressure Point, players will try and find out who will stay cool by seeing how fast they can answer questions.

K’nex K’nex will be introducing a number of new construction sets for the 2010. The new FireStorm Ferris Wheel offers a twist on the classic K’nex Ferris Wheel with new strobing multi-colored lights. Builders can use one of the six pre-programmed light routines or create their own. K’nex is also unveiling new additions to its Kid K’nex line. Flying Friends lets kids build airplanes and helicopters. The Construction Crew lets them build construction vehicles. The Big Building Tub is a 50-piece set filled with Kid K’nex blocks to foster ideas and creativity. K’nex will continue to expand its line of licensed products. The Monster Jam line will expand with a new line of Monster Jam trucks. Each set comes with more than 30 parts to let kids build a number of popular Monster Jam trucks, such as Grave Digger, Blue Thunder, and more. K’nex will also release the Grave Digger vs. Maximum Destruction Building Set, which features 100 parts to build both trucks, which are driven by pull-back motors. The K’nex NASCAR line will feature a number of new products. The Pit Crew kits will feature the pit crews of the No. 88 Amp Energy, No. 24 Dupont, and No. 14 Office Depot cars. These cars can also be built from their own building kits, which will also be introduced this year, as well as a line of Transporter building kits for each car. The new Sesame Street products from K’nex will let children build their favorite characters and settings from the television show and property. Kids can build their favorite Sesame Street character playing a sport with the new Kick It Elmo!, Swim Time Ernie, and Cookie Monster’s Basketball building sets. They can also build different buildings from the Sesame Street Neighorhood with the new Neighborhood Collection building sets, such as the Firehouse, School House, and more. New from K’nex are the multi-model building sets. Each set allows the builder to build a number of different models. The line will include a Fire Rescue, Hi-Flyers, Revving Racers, and Pirate Adventure building sets. The company will also be releasing a new line of Monster Truck sets with original monster trucks that can be combined to create larger trucks.

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Mary Meyer Mary Meyer adds new toys to its Sweet Chocolate Collection. New items include the Sweet Chocolate Three Block Set with rattles inside. The ABC blocks are Bobo Dog packaged in a see-through mesh bag with ribbon. The new Sweet Chocolate Musical Giraffes play “You Are My Sunshine.” Other new additions include Piper Pups, Piggy Banks, and rattles. Bobo Dogs are based on President Obama’s Portugese Water Dog. The plush is available in four different body styles. Each one has a hangtag with the Seal of the Pooch of the United States.

High IntenCity To celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2010, High IntenCity launched a nationwide Charm It! Design-ACharm Contest. Girls were invited to design a charm with the possibility of seeing that charm come to life in the What Charms You collection, debuting in April. High IntenCity chose 36 winners from in-store, mail, and online submissions. The winning styles celebrate the themes that girls across the country know and love, from world peace, save the animals, and other positive messages to out-of-the-box creations like a talking taco and a giant smile full of braces.

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Toy Fair 2010 Extreme Fight Games

Crayola

The Extreme Fight Game, from Extreme Fight Games, Inc., is a new board game for Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fans of all ages. The game simulates all aspects of the sport in a realistic way. There is both a StandUp playing area and a Ground playing area, each having spaces with pictures of fighters performing the moves that the space states. The game board also includes Cheap Shot, Point Deduction, Roll Again, and Fight Dice spaces. The four fighter characters are Mike “The Massacre” Siciliano, Jessica “The Heat” Tia, Adrian “The Assassin” Jackson, and Mizu “Lion Heart” Minosake. The game includes a game board, one six-sided die, one 30-sided Fight Die, four fighter playing pieces, two colored dry-erase pens, and two championship fight cards. It is for ages 13 and up.

Crayola’s Washable Dry-Erase Crayons wash easily from hands and clothing and have virtually no odor. They also erase completely from dry-erase surfaces and won’t smudge or dry out. The crayons come in eight colors including red, orange, purple, yellow, green, blue, brown, and black. Each set comes with an E-Z Erase mitt and a built-in dry-erase crayon sharpener. The crayons are for ages 5 and up. Crayola’s Model Magic Presto Dots are a new way to play with Model Magic, a soft, squishy, air-drying modeling material. Cover a plastic base with Model Magic, then take the Presto Dot tool to begin building a character. The tool comes with an insert that will scoop up a round ball of Model Magic, about the size of a marble. Now press these “dots” onto the Model Magic-covered base and they will stick to it. Continue to place, press, and pop colorful Model Magic dots with the tool and watch the 3-D character come to life. Kits include Model Magic in a variety of colors, a Presto Dot tool, a character base and armature, idea starters to use tools, and extra Model Magic for the characters. The kits are for ages 5 and up. Kids can make their own chalk with the Crayola Sidewalk Chalk Maker. There are two kits available: Safari and Caribbean. Each comes with six jars of chalk dust, two mold trays with safarithemed and sea-faring creatures, and a how-to booklet. Combine the chalk dust with water in the mixing chamber, shake, and pour into the mold tray. In about 15 minutes, the new chalk hardens and is ready to be used. The Sidewalk Chalk Maker kits are for ages 6 and up.

Silverlit For Iron Man 2, Silverlit Iron Man 2 Whip-it Racer will produce two Whip-it Racers (in maroon and grey), a 1:16-scale R/C Speeder vehicle in maroon, and a 1:16-scale War Machine R/C Speeder in black. Silverlit will introduce new product for Jojo. Hide and Seek Jojo Bunny is an electronic hide-and-seek game. Jojo’s ears fold over and hide its eyes while Jojo counts. Jojo speaks and makes sounds when looking for the child and demands a kiss when the child is found.

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Jax Games In Sequence Letters, players sound out the letter on their cards, match it to the beginning sound of a picture on the game board, then place a chip on the picture. Each card features a letter of the alphabet in upper and lower case. When a player has five chips in a row, he wins. Sequence Letters is for two to four players ages 4–7.

Toy Island Toy Island introduces Sesame Street arts and crafts, as well as art supplies. The range of product includes stampers, fingerpaint, paint- and color-by-number, tissue art, Rub ’n Reveal, Design Your Own Smock, Lace ’n Create, Take-Along Art Caddy, Take-Along Art Desk, and triangular crayons all featuring favorite Sesame Street characters. Toy Island items for EA Sports Sporting Goods include Strike ’Em Out Baseball. Kids ages 5 and up can practice throwing the ball and hitting the strike zone. LED lights record balls and strikes. The set comes with three baseballs.

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Toy Fair 2010 Cahootie

Folkmanis

Cahootie, the modern-day reincarnation of the handmade “fortune teller” games of the past, partnered with Animal Planet for a new line of educational, animal-themed games. The agreement was brokered by Animal Planet’s licensing agent The Joester Loria Group and is North American-based only. Animal Planet Cahooties are made of pre-folded, rip-resistant laminated paper with bold, colorful photographs from Animal Planet. Packaging includes interchangeable stickers that fit one of four animal themes: Dogs Rule! (pictured), Cats Rule!, Sea Creatures, and Endangered Creatures. Insert index fingers and thumbs into the pockets of the palm-sized toys and open and close the game piece until the Cahootie selection is made. The game is for ages 7 and up.

Daron Worldwide Trading Daron Worldwide Trading’s new product lines include pullback toys featuring ground vehicles and detailed 3-D Puzzles of famous landmarks. Daron’s 3-D Puzzles are the latest addition to its educational toys. Included in this series are the Empire State Building (more than 20 feet tall and made of 55 pieces), the White House, the Statue of Liberty, and the U.S. Capitol. The 2-in-1 Rocket comes with a detachable capsule, a moon buggy, and two astronauts, who are outnumbered by three aliens. The colorful plastic rocket also features realistic rocket sounds.

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Statue of Liberty 3-D Puzzle

New puppets from Folkmanis include the Hermit Crab puppet, which features a bright orange body and soft patterned shell. Slip your hand inside its underside to animate the legs and pincers. The Hermit Crab puppet is 13 inches long. Mozart in Piano puppet Mozart in Piano is a two-handed piano puppet. One hand animates the keys while the second hand operates the removable Mozart hiding inside the grand piano. Designed in velvet fabrics, Mozart in Piano measures 10 inches wide.

Haywire Group The Haywire Group is adding a new line of games and puzzles to its product line based on the Guinness World Records books. A new board game will contain trivia questions, learning activities, and physical challenges that require players to make and break their own “house” records. Haywire will also release a travel game in a compact metal tin and a 300-piece puzzle that includes a magic-reveal feature, allowing users to decode what records are depicted on the puzzle.


Learning Resources Learning Resources’ Primary Science Set features real tools sized for little hands. This colorful set entices children to experiment and explore with a beaker, a magnifying glass, a funnel, test tubes, and more, all made of durable plastic. The set also includes an activity guide and cards with easy-to-do experiments. It is for ages 4 and up. The Twist & Learn Busy Bus lets kids sort shapes into their “seats.” Twist the three-piece characters (farmer, police officer, teacher, and firefighter) to create 12 different options. “The Wheels on the Bus” plays with the press of a button. The bus requires three button-cell batteries, which are included. The bus is for ages 2 and up. The Pretend & Play Pizza Shop Set serves up literacy skills as children

write down pizza orders. The set includes a six-inch hook-and-loop pizza, realistic toppings, a canvas apron, pizza utensils, a writeand-wipe order card, and a delivery box for storage. It is for ages 3 and up. Learning Resources’ Animatools is a line of animal-themed, durable plastic tool sets. The Animatools Hammerhead Shark Set includes a Duck Tape Measure and Wood Plank. Use the Hammerhead Shark to pound in the three S’nails. The Duck Tape Measure features retractable, 12-inch tape marked in inches and centimeters. The Monkey Wrench Set can be used to tighten the three Boa Bolts. Put the finishing touches on the Wood Plank using the non-scratching Turtle Sander. Both sets are for ages 3 and up. Animatools Hammerhead Shark Set

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Toy Fair 2010 Ravensburger In addition to new puzzle designs for Thomas & Friends, Ravensburger’s other new licensed developments Hello Kitty puzzleball include Hello Kitty puzzle and puzzleball designs, Peanuts puzzleball designs, and Ed Hardy adult puzzles. Ravensburger has also added more than 20 new puzzleball styles, 40 children’s puzzles, and 70 adult puzzles to its puzzle collection. The new Junior Mandala-Designer is for the beginning artist. These specially developed, age-appropriate stencils feature an extratough, flexible felt-tip pen that resists breakage in little hands ages 4 and up. New games from Ravensburger include Jungle Jive! This test of physical skill in balance, coordination, and flexibility features interactive sounds. Players strive to complete five of the 36 exercises without waking up the snoozing bird. There are three levels of difficulty for ages 6 and up.

Out of the Box New games from Out of the Box include Word on the Street Junior. During each turn, one team flips over a category card and team members quickly brainstorm words that fit the category. The team agrees on a word before time runs out and then pulls each letter in that word one lane closer to their side of the street. The first team to pull eight letters off the street wins. Word on the Street Junior is for two to eight players ages 8 and up. In 10 Days in the Americas, players use destination and transportation tiles to chart a course across North America, Central America, The Caribbean, and South America, touring by airplane, cruise ship, or on foot. The first to make connections for a complete 10-day journey wins. The game is for two to four players ages 10 and up.

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Ludorum Ludorum’s first preschool property, the train-centric Chuggington series, premiered last month on Playhouse Disney. Chuggington follows the adventures of three best friends who explore, work, and play in a safe and exciting world. Each interactive episode teaches social-emotional values for riding the rails of life. Chuggington targets kids ages 3–6 and was created by a team that includes Sarah Ball, director and writer of Bob the Builder, and Don Toht, former vicepresident of product development at Learning Curve.

Chuggington made its global debut in September 2008 in the UK on BBC Two and launched on CBeebies, BBC’s preschool channel, in January 2009. It is also broadcast in France, Australia, Germany, Japan, and Canada. Ludorum, based in London, recently started a U.S. operation led by Maureen Taxter, senior vice-president consumer products, to oversee development of a Chuggington consumer products program. The master toy partner is RC2/Learning Curve. Vtech is the global licensee for electronic learning products. Chuggington’s online presence includes a website, www.chuggington.com, which features games, interactive adventures, stories, and original content designed for preschoolers to learn and play.


ESPN Bowlercade is a realistic bowling alley sized for the home. It features automatic scoring, ball return, and pin reset, as well as electronic sound effects. Bowlercade includes two bowling balls and is for ages 3 and up. The 6 in 1 Gamecenter is six games in one—basketball, baseball, football, soccer, golf, and street hockey. It features electronic sound effects and a ball return ramp. The set includes three basketballs, a soccer ball, a football, two baseballs, two hockey pucks, a hockey stick, three golf balls, a golf club, and one putting cup. It is for ages 4 and up.

Chicco Bowlercade

Chicco’s Window Talking Farm brings animals to life on a color LCD screen. This bilingual toy teaches numbers, colors, animal names, and sounds. There are three modes of play with learning games involving naming, matching, answering, and sequencing. It includes eight nursery rhymes and five songs. The Window Talking Farm includes three AA batteries and is for ages 12 months and up.

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Toy Fair 2010 Corolle Corolle’s new Nourrisson (French for infant) is a 17inch doll that is designed to be like a real baby. The doll is soft and light, in a white outfit with a soft cap and booties. Corolle will be adding to its existing collections as well. The Miss Corolle Collection will see the addition of Lou in 2010, a 14-inch specialty doll with changeable fashions from the Miss Corolle Collection. Bébé Chéri Elise is the newest addition to the Les Classiques Collection. The 20-inch classic baby doll can wear real baby clothes. Finally, Corolle will be introducing Camille & Clara to the Les Cheries Collection. Each doll features long hair and a trendy, chic new wardrobe. Nourrisson

Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products (NVCP) will be introducing a number of new products based on its popular entertainment brands for 2010. Nick will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of its preschool brand Dora the Explorer with a full lineup of new toys and games, including the new bilingual Day to Night Dollhouse and the singing and dancing We Did It Dora Doll from Fisher-Price. NVCP will also be unveiling the Spin Master toy line for the upcoming The Last Airbender movie, directed by M. Night Shyamalan and based on the animated TV series Avatar: The Last Airbender. Spin Master has developed a line of action figures, vehicles, playsets, and more. NVCP will also continue to expand its licensing program for SpongeBob SquarePants, introducing new educational and interactive toys for the brand. The company will also unveil new toy partners for iCarly and True Jackson, as well as new lines for preschool properties Ni Hao, Kai-lan; Go, Diego, Go!; and The Wonder Pets.

Elmer’s Pokemon Pokémon will be releasing the two newest editions of the Pokémon video game for 2010. Pokémon HeartGold Version and Pokémon SoulSilver Version will launch in the spring. In addition, four new Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver trading card game expansions will be unveiled, the 13th season of the television series will air, and a new Pokémon movie will debut.

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Elmer’s will be introducing a number of new educational kits for 2010. The My First Penguin Kit teaches children about penguins by teaching them how to be a penguin. Kids will use all of their senses to experience the world as a penguin would and will also measure, compare, and ask questions. The Heavenly Hair Kit teaches children how to make their own shampoo and conditioner, as well as about how hair grows, what makes it curly or straight, and more. In the MythBusters Science of Sports kit, kids can bust myths about sports. They will determine what part science has in sports and how that helps teams win or lose a game.


Planet Fred

Griddly Games

Planet Fred’s BamBoo Bears are made from natural bamboo and organic cotton fleece. The bears’ corduroy ears, tails, and paw pads are made from naturally grown hemp and organic cotton. The hypoallergenic cornfiber stuffing and non-toxic dyes further the bears’ ecofriendliness. With bold colors and playful designs, BamBoo Bears are for all ages.

Griddly Games’ Words of the Wise turns the ABC’s into a challenging game for ages 10 and up. Players pick a card from the deck of topics, then think fast to find words to match alphabetically. The object of the game is to be the first player or team to reach the targeted point value. There are three ways to play. In the Standard Round, players pick a topic card. Each player gives a word in alphabetical order relating to the topic. Stumped players are eliminated and the last player standing wins the points posted on the card. In the Speed Round, each player writes down, in alphabetical order, all the words they can relate to the topic. Once time is up, the person with the most acceptable answers wins the points. In the Challenge Round, each player must complete the entire alphabet of a category on their own to receive points.

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Toy Fair 2010 Bananagrams Bananagrams has two new games for ages 6 and up. Appletters and PAIRSinPEARS are word games with alternative ways to play. Appletters is a domino-like game where players add tiles to the first PAIRSinPEARS or last letter of a word in the middle of the table, creating a continuous snake of new words. The game comes in an appleshaped cloth pouch containing 110 ivory-like tiles. PAIRSinPEARS is a word construction game where players race to make pairs of connecting words in matching patterns. It comes in a pear-shaped cloth pouch, containing four full alphabet sets in four distinct patterns.

Taggies Taggies, Inc., will be introducing its new Homerun Collection. The collection features three new products that encourage interactive play. The Homerun Taggies Blanket is a baseball glove-shaped Homerun Taggies Blanket blanket that features baseball-themed tags all around the mitt. It has a white baseball embroidered into the middle of the mitt to show where to catch the ball. Homerun Taggies Baseball Plush is a baseball-shaped plush toy that features baseball-themed tags. Taggies Fun Shapes Homerun Baseball is adorned with a clip so it can be taken on the road. It features baseball-themed tags and a rattle inside. Also new from Taggies is its My Big Bed Pillowcases. Taggies pillowcases are designed to help kids transition from crib to bed. They are made of 100-percent cotton percale and feature a row of colorful tags. The pillowcases are available in pink and blue.

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Rokenbok Rokenbok Toy Company enters the preschool market with Rok Blocks, a new building block system for children ages 3 and up. Each block easily snaps together or breaks apart. Each set comes with enough blocks, wheels, and accessories to build many different things. Rok Blocks are compatible with all other Rokenbok toys.

Pretty Ugly New Ugly Dolls from Pretty Ugly include Picksey and Pointy Max, each with its own unique personality. Picksey is an interdimensional being. Despite this ability, Picksey is stressed out all the time worrying about being too early or too late. Pointy Max can’t be controlled or stopped. Unless cheese is involved. Or blank pieces of paper because Pointy Max has a blank page phobia. Pointy Max


International Playthings International Playthings will be expanding its Yookidoo line of toys for toddlers and infants with the Yookidoo Tote Along Musical Mirror. This large mirror fits on to the front of a large tote bag. Faces on the mirror light up in time with the music iPlay My First Baby Doll the mirror plays. International Playthings will also introduce the Yookidoo Baby’s First Bumper Book. The accordion-fold book includes a friendly face on every page that encourages babies to lift their head. The new Earlyears Rocket Baby Play Set is a six-piece soft plush playset packed with multi-sensory activities. Each piece has a different texture and plays a different sound. All pieces fit inside the soft rocket ship for on-the-go play. International Playthings is also adding a number of new products to its iPlay line. The iPlay My First Train Set has more than 34 pieces, including curved track, straight track, switch track, and more. Children can trigger realistic train sounds by pushing the button on the train. The iPlay My First Baby Doll comes with a diaper bag, teddy bear, bottle, diaper, wipes, and a removable hat and outfit. The iPlay Soccer Trainer comes with a ball attached to the base of the set for practicing kicks. Also new in iPlay is Water Bomber Jai Alai, which includes two Jai Alai baskets, a water bomb play ball, and 20 balloons. The Calico Critters Country Tree House is a new environment for the Calico Critters line. The set comes with two monkeys, a hot tub, pagoda, patio, water slide, and lake, as well as room for additional furniture and accessories. The Calico Critters Convertible Coupe comes with three whisker cats, detachable luggage, and two detachable baby seats. The tires and wheels both rotate and the coupe can fit up to six critters. Finally, International Playthings will expand its line of TOMY-brand products with the TOMY Puzzle Ups Assortment. The two-in-one toys combine building with pull-back-and-go action, as kids assemble the vehicle before playing with it.

Big Tent Big Tent has signed a number of new licensing deals for the Domo property. Nancy Sale Company will create Domo plush toys in various sizes. A & A Global has signed on to create stickers, temporary tattoos, and other novelties. Bell Sports will produce scooters, skateboard decks, helmets, and protective gear. Concept One has expanded its existing licensing agreement to include men’s board shorts and beach towels. Hot Properties Merchandising has renewed its partnership with Big Tent and has added non-heat sensitive coffee mugs to its line of Domo products.

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Toy Fair 2010 Prime Time Toys

Gamewright

Prime Time Toys acquired exclusive distribution rights for the U.S. market for the original Floaties product line. The Floaties learn-to-swim system provides at least one product for every age and every stage of the learning process. The ergonomic, contoured design of Floaties Armbands helps to maintain children in upright positions in the water. They are made for babies and toddlers up to 33 pounds with additional sizes accommodating children up to 121 pounds. The Floaties Baby Swim Seat is a four-air-chamber seat with a contoured backrest for support and protection of children up to 3 years old. The Baby Swim Seat comes in three sizes, holding babies and toddlers up to 39 pounds. The bright yellow color is high visibility for adults and the wide leg holes give added comfort and safety to babies.

Gamewright’s 2010 lineup includes Can You See What I See? Bingo Link. Players must find objects such as a trumpet or a pink rabbit. Take turns calling out objects and marking off the spaces. Every board has the same pictures but found in different places. The first player to link two sides together wins. The game comes with four game boards, 80 plastic markers, and instructions. It is for two to four players ages 6 and up. In Order’s Up!, it’s rush hour at the Ring-a-Ding Diner and players must hurry to serve a table full of hungry customers. Roll the die to add dishes to the tray. Roll a Free Meal or snag the Special of the Day to help fill the order. And if a player rolls a bell, it’s a mad dash to grab the grub before another player gets to the lunch. The winner is the first to complete all orders. The game includes 64 tiles, 16 guest checks, a custom die, one bell, and instructions. The game is for two to six players ages 6 and up. In Sumo Ham Slam, use magnetic force to maneuver a Sumo Wrestling hamster and knock the opponent out of the ring. Win the most rounds and claim the title of Sumo Ham Slam Grand Champ. The game includes an elevated game board, a custom die, a champion chip, two magnetic wands, four sumo hamsters, four scoring pegs, 60 food tokens, and instructions. It is for two to four players ages 8 and up. In Hide and Eeek!, players roll the dice and move the mouse around the board, searching for elephants that are either higher or lower than the number on the card. If a player spots a mouse hiding on a card, he shouts “Eeek!” and grabs the mouse figurine. The game comes with 100 elephant cards, two custom dice, a mouse figurine, and instructions. It is for two to six players ages 8 and up. Join a team of fearless adventurers on a mission to capture four sacred treasures from the ruins of Forbidden Island. Race to collect the treasures and escape before being swallowed into the watery abyss. Forbidden Island comes with 58 playing cards, 24 island tiles, six pawns, four treasure figurines, a water meter, a water level marker, and instructions. It is for two to four players ages 10 and up.

Gund Gund’s Snuffles, a bear whose shape was inspired by a crescent moon and who appears to look up at whoever is hugging it, celebrates its 30th birthday with a commemorative 30th Birthday Snuffles, a special limited-edition signature Snuffles, a highend one-of-a-kind Snuffles, and the largest Snuffles ever created. There will be special retail plans, and deluxe commemorative leather medallion logos.

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Manhattan Toy The new Chicka Chicka Boom Boom line of products from Manhattan Toy features a wide variety of new products for children. The line will include stackers, plush toys, rattles, alphabet cards, and playmats. Each product will feature the signature elements of the Chicka Chicka Boom Boom story. The Snuggly Space Friends line will include a new set of products, including a UFO rattle with a clear spinning center, a number of new stackers and teething toys, and a new wrist rattle. The Fuzzy Nation line features puppy plush in outfits and costumes. Breeds include pugs, poodles, corgis, and more. Each puppy comes with its own themed costume and accessories. The Kreechers Klub line of pillow-like plush will see two new products. Lenny is a dragon that dreams of becoming a real dragon, while Irene is a monkey with a talent for mischief. Manhattan Toys is expanding its line of Groovy Girls Darling Dramatics costumes with a number of new gowns and costumes. The new Princess Gown (shown) is made of polyspandex, satin, and organza and features beads and satin.

Funrise Toys Funrise Toys is introducing more products for its Gazillion Bubbles line. The Gazillion Bubble Exhaust attaches to an ordinary bicycle and sprays bubbles behind it as children ride. The new Incredibubble Wand lets kids create giant-sized bubbles. The Gazillion Hydro Bubblator is a bubble blower and a squirt gun in one. Funrise has also redesigned the Typhoon Ultimate Bubble Machine (shown), which can blow 5,000 bubbles per minute to create a “bubble blizzard.” New from Funrise is the redesigned Tub Town collection, a line of bath-time toys geared toward children 12 months and up. The Main Street playset comes in both a boy’s version and a girl’s version. Large Boat characters include Princess the Yacht and Marley the Cruise Ship, while Small Boats include Chance the Paddle Boat and Plank the Pirate Ship. The line will also include safety items such as a Pelican Spout Protector and a Temperature Buoy.

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Toy Fair 2010 Faber-Castell Faber-Castell’s Creativity for Kids is introducing the Recycled Cardboard Doll House, which lets kids design and decorate their own house. Made from recycled cardboard, the doll house is easy to assemble. The packaging becomes part of the experience as the inside of the box is printed with a playmat yard. Once the house is constructed, put together the furniture and punch-out paper dolls, then use stickers and markers to decorate everything on the interior and exterior of the house. The doll house is for ages 4 and up. Make a set of whimsical wind-ups with Wind Up Workshop Robots. Put together colorful cardboard cut-outs to create the robot shapes, then add trendy retro-robot stickers, wiggly eyes, and Recycled Cardboard Doll House designs with markers. Insert the wind-up mechanisms and watch the robots move about. The kit is for ages 7 and up. Decorate six mini bobble pets with markers, air-dry clay, and other accessories included in the Bitty Bobble Pet Shop kit. The set, which is for ages 6 and up, includes a dog, puppy, kitty, turtle, and two bunnies. The newest Creativity for Kids book kit is miniature in size so kids can create their own tiny tales. Create Your Own 3 Bitty Books comes with three blank books. Use stickers and markers to add designs that complement the words or add photographs for a personal touch. Each book is four inches by five inches and has 12 pages. There is also a book holder for storing the books. The kit is for ages 4 and up. Two new kits join the Do Art line. Do Art Manga, for ages 7 and up, is a complete Manga drawing kit featuring the Faber-Castell components, including a GRIP graphite drawing pencil, GRIP markers, and FaberCastell colored pencils. There’s a wooden mannequin to use as a guide for action poses, plus a sketch book, tracing paper, stencil, eraser, and sharpener. The fully illustrated instruction booklet teaches Manga drawing in a step-by-step format for beginners.

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Sakar Sakar’s SpongeBob SquarePants Underwater Camera can be used out of water or underwater. It takes up to 152 photos and includes a case. The EA Nintendo DSi Football Kit includes a matching game case, earphones, skin, and stylus for the Nintendo DSi. Kids can videotape and create their own web shows with the iCarly Digital Video Cam with Faceplates. It comes SpongeBob SquarePants with interactive software. Underwater Camera

Peaceable Kingdom Press Peaceable Kingdom Press introduces two new product categories for 2010. Quick Sticker Kits are all-in-one craft kits that include everything kids need to create, build, and decorate. Nine designs were released last month, with more designs to follow. This or That? is a line of quick and clever get-to-knowyou games for parties, home, or on the go. Available themes are Original and Girl Talk.


MGA Entertainment MGA Entertainment will be expanding the Little Tikes brand with a number of new products. The Little Tikes Spray & Rescue Fire Truck features a pressurized water tank and hose on an easy-to-use foot-to-floor ride-on. MGA will also be introducing two new Little Tikes Wagons. The Sport Wagon features two molded cup holders and enough room for two children. The Lil’ Wagon is a pull-along wagon for children to pull behind them during play. MGA will also be expanding its Moxie Girlz line of dolls with the new More 2 Me line. Each More 2 Me figure can transform its accessories to fill multiple roles and create whole new looks. The More 2 Me line will feature a doll pack that allows Moxie Girlz dolls to transform from one activity to another, as well as the More 2 Me Music 2 Makeup Boombox, which is both a boombox and a vanity. Other products include the Beauty Phone, which combines a phone and a make-up palette, and the Mic 2 Brush, which is both a microphone and a hairbrush. MGA will also be introducing the I Am… line of Moxie Girlz products, which will feature a doll pack that includes a statement-making outfit and hoodie as well as a Moxiemini figurine and matching key chain charm. Moxie Girls I Am...

Zizzle Zizzle will continue to introduce new lines of Miyachi, a line of bean-filled sacks that are used for a game based on the principles of hacky sack, Frisbee, and yo-yos. Players must keep the Miyachi suspended with any body part, but can never touch it with their palms. Miyachi are sold in a series of 6–12 styles that are then retired, to make each item a collectible. There are roughly 50 different Miyachi Original Hand Sacks available for sale.

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Toy Fair 2010 Playmates Playmates’ iCarly product includes two items in its Sound Gadgets Assortment. The Random Dance Pod features three ways to random dance, just like on the show. In Random Mode, the music starts and stops at random. The last one to stop dancing is out. In Rhythm Dance Mode, the faster kids dance, the faster the music plays. In Stop ’n Go Mode, the music starts when kids dance and stops when kids stop. Freddie’s Sound FX lets kids use Freddie’s controller under their jackets or on their belts to punkify friends. There are more than 16 sound effects. With the Private Notes Electronic Planner, kids can plan their next webshow. The planner features Carly’s voice. Kids enter their secret password and when it pops open, Carly Chat‘n Change Sam greets them with a phrase. The planner comes with a real working clipboard, a dryerase cover, and dry-erase marker. The inside secret compartment has a mirror, photo holders, a secret compartment, and notepad. Galini’s Pie Shop Playset is a scented playset with a working pie display. The set also comes with Fashion Switch Carly, pie shop accessories, and a reusable sticker sheet for customizing the menu. The Chat’n Change Sam 10-inch Fashion Figure plays Sam’s real voice and phrases from the show when girls press Sam’s necklace. Extra fashions inspired by Sam are included.

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Learning Curve Learning Curve will create an all-new line of original products based on The Jim Henson Company’s animated series Dinosaur Train. The new line will feature a full complement of preschool products that bring to life the world of the series. Highlights from the new Dinosaur Train line include Dinosaur Collectible and Train Car Two-Packs. These collectible two-packs include a detailed dinosaur figure and a train car decorated to match the character. Each Dinosaur figure fits inside its respective train car, which can be attached to other cars for train play. The two-packs also include a special Dinosaur Train collector card. Characters include Buddy, Tiny, Morris, Tank, Ned, and the Conductor. Dinosaur Train InterAction Figures are fully articulated action figures with 40 real dinosaur sounds, facts, and character phrases. With multiple activation touch points, each InterAction Figure has a special dinosaur feature, such as stomping or chomping. The InterAction Figures have built-in technology that allows them to recognize and interact with children or other InterAction Figures in the Dinosaur Train line. All Dinosaur Train product is for ages 3 and up. The Thomas Wooden Railway has a new line designed for beginning engineers. The Early Engineers Line offers kids as young as 18 months the same quality wood craftsmanship and timeless signature look found in every Thomas Wooden Railway set. It features larger engines for small hands, track tiles that provide secure layouts, and simple-to-use destinations. The Early Engineers Line is compatible with the rest of the Thomas Wooden Railway. Highlights include the Early Engineers Roundabout Station Set, Early Engineers Busy Day on Sodor Set, and Early Engineers Rock and Roll Quarry Set. Learning Curve expands its Caring Corners line in 2010. The Nanny Oakes Interactive Treetop Nursery allows children to nurture “Baby Buds”— little babies who nestle in Nanny Oakes’ branches. When children press Nanny’s nose, Nanny Oakes they discover activities, sounds, words, and lullabies about caring for Interactive Treetop baby. Nanny Oakes features a hanging swing for up to six babies, a Nursery mini pool, a snack table, and a treetop merry-go-round. There is also a secret elevator and a hidden baby bassinet. Nanny Oakes includes two babies but has locations to hold and care for up to 16 different babies.


Thames & Kosmos

Fantasma Magic

The Sustainable Earth Lab gives kids the tools and information to learn firsthand about environmental problems burdening Earth and how these problems can be overcome through sustainable practices and the sensible use of technology. The kit is organized into five main sections: renewable energies, natural resource usage, climate change prevention, waste and water management, and energy conservation. Hands-on experiments include constructing a miniature water treatment plant; manufacturing recycled paper and plastic; carbon dioxide tests; heat transfer and insolation; building devices to explore wind power, water power, and passive and active solar power technology; and tracking down wasteful uses of energy at school and at home. The full-color, 48-page manual guides the experiments and energy conservation activities. The kit is for ages 10 and up.

Fantasma Magic’s Ultimate Magic DVD Set features brand new original illusions created by Fantasma Magic and an instructional DVD starring TV star and comedy magician Ed Alonzo. The set teaches kids how to perform more than 150 tricks, such as safely passing a blade through someone’s arm, producing a soda can from an empty soda machine, and biting into a cookie and then restoring it. The packaging also features a patent that allows consumers to use their phone while in the store to see a demonstration of the tricks that are inside the box. The set is for ages 6 and up

Patch Products Patch Products’ 3-D Sneaky Puzzle Singin’ Sea Creatures (shown) is a 46piece floor puzzle. Put together the colorful sea and then slip on the included 3-D glasses. It will look as though sea creatures are swimming out of the puzzle. Hidden within the puzzle are the letters of the alphabet and numbers zero–nine. Race to find them all first or help kids recognize each letter and number. Patch will add two more 3-D Puzzles in a lightning bug theme and safari theme. The puzzles are for ages 3 and up. Players have just five seconds to name three things in 5 Second Rule. Players will end up saying whatever comes to mind first, risking ridiculous answers as time twirls down on the twisted marble timer. The game comes with 576 questions ranging in a variety of cat-

egories from naming super heroes, to spices, to types of deodorants. The game is for three or more players, ages 10 and up. Lauri Locktagons are construction toys sized for little hands. The three different shapes (rectangle, square, and octagon) have several slots that lock together to build three-dimensional structures in multiple ways that are simple, challenging, and fun. The durable pieces let kids create whatever they can imagine. The included activity guide gives parents suggestions on educational ways to build and interact with their child. Each Locktagons set comes with 216 pieces in six bright colors. Everything fits in a storage box with a handle. Locktagons are for ages 3 and up.

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Toy Fair 2010 Tech 4 Kids Tech 4 Kids’ Dora the Explorer LullaLights illuminates and plays music while projecting steady images on the ceiling. The light keeps kids company as they sleep. The music automatically shuts off after five minutes of play and the light shuts off automatically after 10 minutes. Other character LullaLights include Thomas the Tank Engine; Go, Diego, Go!; SpongeBob SquarePants; Ni Hao, Kai-lan; and In the Night Garden. LullaLights are for ages 3 and up. The Blade Racer Pro features the X Games license. With the latest innovation in toboggan design, Blade Racer Pro features Dora the Explorer LullaLights a modern technical design combined with sleek styling. The twin-tip ski design gives riders the option to ride forward or backward when performing tricks. There is adjustable seat positioning to fit a variety of body sizes. Front-flex suspension helps smooth out the ride and the full-function brakes allow for quick stops or turns. Pro-grip protectors prevent hands from getting hit by obstacles. A tow rope offers easy portability and kids can hold it while riding. The Blade Racer Pro is for ages 6 and up.

Scholastic Media Scholastic Media (SM) kicks off 2010 with the 10th anniversary of the PBS Kids show Clifford the Big Red Dog. The integrated Be Big! marketing campaign gains momentum in its second year with its first corporate sponsor, the second annual “Be Big in Your Community Contest,” and a new Be Big! publishing program. For SM’s Wordgirl, Briarpatch will launch new board games, puzzles, and card games and Scholastic will continue to publish books. In the WordGirl Worrrd Up! Game, players must be the first to find and match lowercase letter tiles to the uppercase letters on the word cards. Place the letter tiles on stacking discs to build the word tower higher and higher.

Shred Sled The Shred Sled is the next generation of caster boards. Shred Sled’s two boards and flexible connector allow both boards to rotate around the vertical and horizontal axes, making it easy for kids to maneuver the board. Each deck has a grip surface to maximize traction and stability while the concave decks give better foot control. The Shred Sled’s four wheels are easier to control than two-wheel boards. The polyurethane wheels and ABEC-5 bearings are smoother and stronger than standard hardware and rarely need to be replaced. Shred Sled is available in black, blue, or red. It is for ages 8 and up.

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Briarpatch will also release new games and puzzles for its I Spy line. After assembling the I Spy 4-in-One Little Wheels Puzzle and the 4-in-One Little Animals Puzzle, kids must solve the riddle. The objective of I Spy “Link–Alikes” Grab & Go is to use up all tiles by linking them with objects that share something in common. SM’s Interactive Group has extended its top properties on the iPhone app platform. New Leapster titles, online games, and audio books are also expected to be released.



Toy Fair 2010 Bossa Nova Robotics Bossa Nova Robotics reveals its new toy brand iloveRobots, based on Bossa Nova’s running-legged technology inspired from robots at Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute, where Bossa Nova spun off as a company in 2005. Prime-8 is a gorilla robot. Responding to loud noises, Prime8’s personality transforms from a friendly, funny gorilla with blue eyes to a “gone bananas” robot, beating the floor and roaring from the top of its lungs, with circuits crackling and furious red eyes. Prime-8 has three modes of play. In autonomous mode, Prime-8 wanders around its environment. In programmable mode, kids get to program 10 actions. In remote control mode, kids get to make Prime-8 run on its arms. Prime-8 is for ages 8–12.

Ceaco The Gallery Puzzle is the newest novelty concept in Ceaco’s line. A 48-piece puzzle, it includes a ready-to-display frame. Celebrity Superstars, a 550piece puzzle series, consists of three images: Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, and The Beatles. The artwork for these puzzles is by David O’Keefe, known for his caricatures and humorous illustrations, which have appeared on the covers of Sports Illustrated, Mad Magazine, and The Village Voice, and within the pages of TIME.

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ToyQuest ToyQuest entered into a licensing collaboration with Mattel to produce a brand new Barbie backyard play program to include inflatable pools and pool toys, sand boxes and accessories, bubbles, sprinklers, chalk, garden tools, and outdoor furniture. ToyQuest will unveil the program this spring. ToyQuest also entered into a licensing arrangement on DreamWorks Animation’s November 5, 2010, release Megamind. ToyQuest will serve as the worldwide master toy licensee for the film, producing action figures, vehicles, plush, roleplay products, and playsets. The entire line will be available fall 2010.

Barbie Jumping Fun Dancer

Vivid Imaginations Vivid Imaginations introduces the AniMagic pets line. AniMagic pets are animatronic plush that interact, move, and make real animal sounds. The AniMagic pets are Honey My Baby Pony, Peanut My Playful Puppy, Dotty My Cute Puppy, Sandy My Playful Kitty, and Snowflake Honey My Baby Pony My Cute Kitty. AniMagic pets require four C batteries, which are not included. They are for ages 3 and up.



Toy Fair 2010 Film Preview

COMPILED BY

CHRIS ADAMS

Posted on the following two pages is a sample of high-profile films expected to be released on the big screen in the next few years. These films either have full licensing programs in the works or at least licensing potential. The majority of the films are family-friendly offerings or at least have aspects to them that could be translated into toy products.

Title

Expected Release

How to Train Your Dragon

March 26, 2010

Paramount Pictures

May 7, 2010

Paramount Pictures

Alice in Wonderland

A Nightmare on Elm Street Iron Man 2

Shrek Forever After

March 5, 2010 April 30, 2010

Studio

Buena Vista

Warner Bros.

May 21, 2010

DreamWorks Animation

The Sands of Time

May 28, 2010

Buena Vista

The Karate Kid

June 11, 2010

Prince of Persia: The A-Team Toy Story 3

The Last Airbender Cats & Dogs:

June 11, 2010 June 18, 2010 July 2, 2010

Revenge of Kitty Galore

July 30, 2010

Rapunzel

November 12, 2010

Megamind

Harry Potter

November 5, 2010

20th Century Fox

Columbia Pictures

Buena Vista

Paramount Pictures

Warner Bros.

Paramount Pictures

Buena Vista

and the Deathly Hallows: Part I

November 19, 2010

Warner Bros.

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

December 10, 2010

20th Century Fox

The Chronicles of Narnia: Yogi Bear

112 TOYS & FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT FEBRUARY 2010

December 17, 2010

Warner Bros.


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Amazing Flexible Building Sticks!®

Come play with America’s favorite new Award-Winning toy! Bendaroos® Amazing Flexible Building Sticks® provide children hours and hours of creating and learning fun. Kids use their imagination to build, draw, decorate and transform ordinary objects into incredible works of art! © 2010 ASM Bendaroos and Amazing Flexible Building Sticks are registered trademarks of Merchant Media, LLC

Come visit us! Booth 2381, Level 3

To schedule an appointment call:

914-593-6179 or email: toyfair@allstarmg.com or visit www.bendaroosfun.com


Toy Fair 2010 Film Preview Title

Expected Release

Hong Kong Phooey

January 14, 2011

The Green Hornet

Pirates of the Caribbean:

On Stranger Tides The Hangover 2

Kung Fu Panda 2:

December 22, 2010

May 20, 2011 May 26, 2011

The Kaboom of Doom

June 3, 2011

Cars 2

June 24, 2011

Green Lantern

Transformers 3 Harry Potter

June 17, 2011 July 2011

Studio

Sony Pictures

Warner Bros. Buena Vista

Warner Bros. Paramount Pictures

Warner Bros. Warner Bros.

Paramount Pictures

and the Deathly Hallows: Part II

July 15, 2011

Warner Bros.

Captain America

July 22, 2011

Paramount Pictures

Marvin the Martian

October 7, 2011

The First Avenger: The Smurfs

Puss in Boots

Arthur Christmas Happy Feet 2

The Hobbit: Part I The Avengers

Madagascar 3

Untitled Star Trek Sequel

114 TOYS & FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT FEBRUARY 2010

July 29, 2011

November 4, 2011

November 11, 2011 November 18, 2011

December 23, 2011

Sony Pictures

Warner Bros.

Paramount Pictures Sony Pictures

Warner Bros. Warner Bros.

May 4, 2012

Paramount Pictures

June 29, 2012

Paramount Pictures

May 25, 2012

Paramount Pictures


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Timetoplaymag.com and the New York Comic Con are working together to bring you the largest toy section that we’ve ever had! Kids Day is brought to you by Timetoplaymag.com and all kids under 12 get in for free on Sunday, October 10th. For exhibitor information, contact Larry Settembrini 203-840-5321 • lsettembrini@reedexpo.com

Follow us on twitter @NY_Comic_Con


BY LAURIE LEAHEY

Keeping Action’s Products Alive ob Muniz couldn’t let Action Products International’s educational and activity toys disappear from store shelves. He had worked at Action Products on and off starting in 1980, working his way up to national sales manager before leaving the company in 2004. But in March 2009, Muniz was asked to rejoin Action Products to help get it back on its feet. “They knew they were in big financial trouble and things were going wrong,” he says. “I was a former employee of the company and I knew the company’s history.” Muniz acceptI Dig Treasures ed the offer but says that after is one of the a month, everyone charged newest toys in the I Dig line. with salvaging the company realized their efforts weren’t working. In early December 2009, Action Products announced that it would liquidate its failing toy business and seek a new venture. But it took action on Muniz’s part to keep Action Products’ toys in stores. So, together with his Action Products colleagues and toy industry veterans Bob Zumbahlen, Scott Pruitt, and Jim Wu, Muniz hatched a plan to start a new toy company that would take over Action Products’ brands, as well as develop new product. “We felt like [Action Products] had product that was worthwhile and that specialty liked,” says Muniz, BSW Toy’s president. “We were aware of what we felt were some of the mistakes Action had made and we felt like we could avoid some of those pitfalls.” Taking their knowledge of Action Products and

B

toy industry experience, the four men worked brands just yet, quickly to form BSW Toy, which stands for the adding that when founders’ names. They left Action Products at the Curiosity Kits beginning of May 2009 and immediately went to underwent three China to begin sourcing product. BSW package changes Toy struck a distribution deal with the over the course of 18 months, it put a lot of stress then-management of Action Products on the brand and created a hodgepodge look on for the rights to not only distribute store shelves. “We’re trying to give [the brands] Action Products’ brands, but to also some stability,” he says. make some of the brands under the But when the company does consider a BSW Toy name and continue to sell change, it will not happen without outside them. Muniz adds that as Action feedback. “Where a lot of companies give lip Products continues to completely liqui- service to the ‘we’re going to talk to the cusdate, BSW Toy will try to buy the brand tomers and reps,’ we really mean it,” Muniz rights so that they become BSW says. “We have the advantage of being a relaToy’s intellectual property. tively small company and that gives us an Right now, BSW Toy is focused edge in that we can afford to sit down and take on getting new toys from Action the time to talk to our [store owners] and get Products’ brands into specialty their feedback. I trust our store owners and stores this year and that includes they know what their customers want.” showing new product at this month’s Toy Fair. Regarding the development of BSW Toy’s Familiar Action Products brands with new SKUs own toys, the company is in no rush there either. on store shelves this year include Space Voyagers, Muniz says a line of wooden toys should be I Dig, Crazy for Cupcakes, and Curiosity Kits. ready for rollout in 2011. In the meantime, the In the future, BSW Toy will consider refresh- company will continue to sell Action Products’ ing some of Action Products’ toys and spread the The new Swirl Master falls under brands—taking the I Dig line in word about BSW Action Products’ Curiosity Kits brand. new directions, looking at Toy. “We want the new designs for Space industry to know Voyagers, more fully that [BSW Toy] is developing Crazy a new company, for Cupcakes— but we’re not new but on a brandto the business,” by-brand basis. Muniz says. “We’re Muniz says the hoping that our reputacompany is in no rush tion will give people confito change anything about the dence to give BSW a try.”

116 TOYS & FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT FEBRUARY 2010


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YOU’RE HIRED

THE JIM HENSON COMPANY

HALLE STANFORD, EXECUTIVE VICE-PRESIDENT, CHILDREN’S ENTERTAINMENT

The Jim Henson Company promoted Halle Stanford to executive vice-president of children’s entertainment. Stanford joined The Jim Henson Company in 1995 and was most recently senior vice-president of children’s entertainment. She leads the company’s development and production of all preschool and children’s programming for television, direct-to-video, and internet productions in animation and live-action formats. She is currently an executive producer on Pajanimals and is also leading development on the animated series The Skrumps and The Doozers.

BANDAI AMERICA, INC.

LARRY FALCON, SENIOR VICE-PRESIDENT, TOY SALES

Bandai America named Larry Falcon as senior vice-president, toy sales. Falcon will promote Bandai America’s brand portfolio of toys and cultivate major relationships with all mass retailers. With more than 20 years of industry experience, Falcon returns to this position, which he also held from 2002–2007, to manage the company’s sales force nationally as well as in Canada. Most recently, Falcon served as executive vice-president, sales for MGA Entertainment.

PAUL JUNE LAUNCHES BARREL O’MONKEYZ

Paul June launched Barrel O’Monkeyz, a full-service marketing and development services company. Barrel O’Monkeyz comprises a group of hardworking, dedicated professionals in all areas of marketing and product development disciplines, including branding, design, marketing, product development, sourcing and manufacturing, website development, research, public relations, social marketing, and media planning. For more information visit www.barrelomonkeyz.com.

118 TOYS & FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT FEBRUARY 2010

LIVINGSTON AND CHILD’S PLAY ANNOUNCE STRATEGIC ALLIANCE

Julie Livingston, formerly senior director, public relations, Toy Industry Association, and Child’s Play Communications announced a strategic alliance designed to bring toy and youth entertainment industry public relations and social media expertise to manufacturers and retailers. During her six years at TIA, Livingston mitigated industry crises, focusing attention on the industry’s stellar safety record, creativity, and ingenuity. She doubled global media attendance and coverage for Toy Fair, as well as hosted satellite media tours. Child’s Play Communications specializes exclusively in connecting companies with the mom market. For more than 20 years Child’s Play has offered a broad range of strategic services targeted to the way moms live, including public relations, one on one contact, and social media.

HIDDEN CITY GAMES, INC.

DOMINICK MAGLIARO, VICE-PRESIDENT OF SALES, NORTH AMERICA

Hidden City Games appointed Dominick Magliaro as vicepresident of sales for North America. Magliaro’s initial priorities will be to increase sales in existing accounts, identify additional distribution channels, develop new prospects, and grow sales. Other tasks include designing and recommending sales programs and evaluating and implementing appropriate new sales techniques to increase sales volume. Magliaro brings more than 15 years of experience in distribution, sales, and licensing. He previously served as the vicepresident of hobby sales for Upper Deck and vice-president of sales at GameWear.


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KNOWLEDGE IS POWER! With our directories of up-to-date information on the global toy industry you will enhance your sales internationally and get access to great new product. For more information and to order, go to www.gameplaneurope.com and click on ‘publishing’.

International Directory of RETAIL TOY BUYERS Contact 1000 buyers by name in 600 retail chains in 41 countries. Send samples, invite buyers to toy fair etc.

International Directory of TOY IMPORTER-DISTRIBUTORS Find a suitable distributor in 41 countries

US Directory of MASS MARKET TOY BUYERS In co-operation with Richard Gottlieb & Associates The names and contact details of toy buyers in the most important 160 chains selling toys in the USA.

Directory of US TOY SALES REPRESENTATIVES In co-operation with Richard Gottlieb & Associates Out of 150 rep groups identify the one best suited to enhance your sales in the USA

International Directory of TOY & GAME INVENTORS Over 100 successful toy inventors listed have created many of the world’s greatest toy hits. Develop fantastic product without having to invest up-front by using these inventors. Gameplan Europe Ltd. 6 Kitsbury Court, Kitsbury Terrace, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire HP4 3EL, England Tel: +44 1442 870100 Fax +44 1442 878400 andrew@gameplaneurope.com


EVENTS OF

CALENDAR

Industry-Related Trade Shows APRIL 17–19

Hong Kong Gifts & Premium Fair hkgiftspremiumfair.com

Blaisdell Exhibition Center

Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre

Honolulu

BookExpo America

bookexpoamerica.com

Jacob Javits Convention Center

New York City

6–8

Minneapolis Mart Gift & Acc. Show

mplsgiftmart.com

Minneapolis Mart Showroom

Minnetonka, MN

13–16

ASTRA Marketplace

astratoy.org

Rhode Island Convention Center

Providence, RI

22–27

Origins Game Fair

originsgames.com

Greater Columbus Convention Center

Columbus, OH

27–30

MAY

25–27 25–27

JUNE 8–10

15–17

JULY

Hawaii Market Merchandise Expo douglastradeshows.com

Sweets & Snacks Expo

allcandyexpo.com

Licensing International Expo

E3

licensingshow.com

e3expo.com

McCormick Place

Mandalay Bay Convention Center

Los Angeles Convention Center

Wanchai, Hong Kong

Chicago

Las Vegas

Los Angeles

15–18

Tokyo Toy Show

toys.or.jp

Tokyo Big Sight

Tokyo, Japan

22–24

OASIS Gift Show

oasis.org

University of Phoenix Stadium

Phoenix, AZ

22–25

Comic-Con International

comic-con.org

San Diego Convention Center

San Diego

LICENSING INTERNATIONAL EXPO 2010 JUNE 8–10; MANDALAY BAY CONVENTION CENTER, LAS VEGAS; WWW.LICENSINGSHOW.COM

FALL TOY PREVIEW 2010 OCTOBER 5–8; DALLAS MARKET CENTER, DALLAS; WWW.TOYASSOCIATION.ORG

120 TOYS & FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT FEBRUARY 2010



Today’s the day...to Laugh & Learn.™ Fun With Friends™ Musical Table

It’s full of fun learning experiences for baby, from the rich world of music, with over 50 songs and tunes, to learning first words in both English and Spanish. Four friendly characters — a counting phone, alphabet laptop, first words book and colors piano — talk and sing to baby, encouraging her to cruise around the table and play!

www.fisher-price.com

Sit-at play for younger babies

Fisher-Price, Inc., a subsidiary of Mattel, Inc., East Aurora, NY 14052. ©2010 Mattel, Inc. All Rights Reserved. ® and ™ designate U.S. trademarks of Mattel, Inc. LZR46943

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Today’s the day... for a great big block party. Songs ‘n Smiles Sillytown™ Surprises are popping up all around the town, with plenty of action, lively music, dancing lights and stack-up, tumble-down fun. And baby makes it all happen. Friendly faces pop up to take a peek, blocks hop, tumble and slide, and excitement just keeps building. The more baby stacks, the sillier it gets — for a block party that goes on and on!

www.fisher-price.com

Fisher-Price, Inc., a subsidiary of Mattel, Inc., East Aurora, NY 14052. ©2010 Mattel, Inc. All Rights Reserved. ® and ™ designate U.S. trademarks of Mattel, Inc. Batteries not included. Some items sold separately. LZR46944

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