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Dollar General Recalls Construction Truck Toy Vehicles Due to Fire

Laser Pegs: organized under a new group called Laser Pegs Investment Holdings, owned and controlled by an investment group led by David Chessler, Eric Baird, and Greg Norman: FEBRUARY 08, 2016

Best-Selling Specialty Toys

Products below selected as of 12/10/2015:
Products and vendors reported as best sellers in TD's interviews of specialty retailers.   See Methodology

Steve Spangler's Geyser Tube

Wonderworld Trix Track - Cat & Mouse Track

Editors' Recommended Specialty Toys

Products below selected as of 12/10/2015:
High-quality products with positive review from retailers, consumers and/or TD staff.   See Methodology

Excavate and Explore Dig Kits

B. Critter Clinic Toy Vet Play Set

New Specialty Toys

Products below selected as of 12/10/2015:
New or upcoming product launches selected as options for specialty retail stores.   See Methodology

Good Dog Crossover Bag: 6” x 9”

LEGO Friends 41101 Heartlake Grand Hotel Building Kit



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VTech plans to ACQUIRE 100% of the outstanding common stock of LeapFrog through an all cash tender offer followed by a second-step merger.

In the tender offer, VTech will offer LeapFrog investors US$1.00 per share for LeapFrog's Class A and Class B shares, which represents a 75.4% premium over the closing price of LeapFrog's Class A shares on 4 February 2016. The total purchase consideration amounts to approximately US$72 million. VTech will fund the tender offer through internal resources. The tender offer is expected to commence on or about 3 March 2016, and will be open for a minimum of 20 business days. The closing of the transaction is subject to satisfaction of certain conditions set forth in the merger agreement, which has been unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies. LeapFrog's Board has agreed to unanimously recommend to its stockholders that they tender their shares of LeapFrog common stock pursuant to the tender offer. "We are delighted to have the LeapFrog brand joining VTech, bringing together two of the great names in children's learning and entertainment," said Allan Wong, Chairman and Group CEO of VTech Holdings Limited. "VTech has been a pioneer in the electronic learning toy category for 35 years. The acquisition will allow us to offer the broadest portfolio of products that enhances the education and development of children across the world, while bringing them fun and joy."


Mattel Inc. (MAT) reported fourth quarter adjusted EPS of $0.67 after the close Monday, which beat the consensus estimate of $0.61.

Mattel Inc. (MAT) reported fourth quarter adjusted EPS of $0.67 after the close Monday, which beat the consensus estimate of $0.61. Feb 1, 2016 Mattel gapped open higher Tuesday and rose sharply in early trade. The stock advanced further in the early afternoon and closed up by 3.70 at $30.46 on the highest volume of the year. Mattel broke out of a month and a half long trading range and set a new high for the year

Global Toy Sales Jump by Almost 7 Percent in 2015

Based on NPD's Retail Tracking Service, January-December 2015 U.S. toy sales grew by 6.7 percent, generating $19.4 billion and marking one of the strongest performances the industry has seen in a number of years. Properties such as Star Wars, Minions, Paw Patrol, and Minecraft, as well as tech-enabled toys with more innovative features, and those with more authentic and traditional play value converged to create a robust holiday season.

Ziro CES 2016

Smart glove sensors understand hand and finger gestures, which connects through Bluetooth to enable interactions with small toy robots, a four-wheeled vehicle type robot.

LUMI combines drone gaming along easy flying an indoor quadcopter.

LUMI can fly itself while you play, direct and command it using the app-based gameplay. With any smart device, you can select motions, maneuvers, stunts, or just take control and fly. Various game modes include challenging the player to follow sequences of flashing lights and music while LUMI flies and dances in the air, reacting to your performance!

R.E.V. SELF DRIVING by WowWee Group Limited

R.E.V. vehicles know where they are in relation to each other. BeaconSense Technology enables R.E.V.s to track each other from up to 5 meters away. When controlled by its Artificial Intelligence (A.I.), R.E.V. thinks for itself, driving and fighting to win. It tracks the status and location of other R.E.V. vehicles in real time, so its Artificial Intelligence continuously adjusts its tactics. When damaged, it’ll flee until it can heal. When you’re damaged, it’ll zero in for the kill.


Pocket Drones by Odyssey Toys

The Pocket Drone is a collapsing video drone that is lightweight and can fit into your pocket. The size of an iPhone 6, this first generation features collapsible blades that can be tucked inside the unit for transport, along with a carry case and remote.

CHiP by WowWee Group Limited

Smartband technology enables CHiP to recognize you, follow you, wait for you to come home, and remind you for mealtime or playtime. Artificial intelligence and an adaptive personality to follow commands, fetch a ball, avoid obstacles, and learn new tricks. CHiP is equipped with an advanced locomotion system that allows for high speed, omnidirectional motion and extreme agility. Unlimited downloadable content through the app. Communicates in growls, whines, and barks.

Air Hogs Link

Control Air Hogs using a smart device. Whether you fly the Havoc Heli, fire missiles with the Sharpshooter, or transport cargo with the Fly Crane, the Air Hogs Link gives your Android or iOS device the power of a remote control.

BB-8 - the app-enabled Droid-- The Force Awakens™ into your home

BB-8 has an adaptive personality that changes as you play. Based on your interactions, BB-8 will show a range of expressions.

Think & Learn Code-a-Pillar by Fisher-Price. | CES 2016

- small, plastic caterpillar will teach kids the simplest form of computer programming.
- every part of the caterpillar is a command that makes the caterpillar accomplish a basic task such as move or play music.
- segments can be assembled as the child decides. Then the caterpillar will move in differrent directions.
- launch: June 2016, Target: 3- to 5-year-old. Needs 4 AA batteries, MSRP: $49.99 Expansion packs, which cost $15 each, allows for extra features, such as turning it 180 degrees, and making different sounds or lights.
- pet it and it will reacts with sound.
- included: target discs, which allows kids starting and ending points for their coding.
- free educational Think & Learn Code-a-Pillar app on Android & iOS
- Fisher-Price is working on more toys in the Teach & Learn line for July

Hackaball raised $240,000 using Kickstarter last year | CES 2016

- will ship in March 2016 MSRP: $85
- helps kids learn about technology & team-play
- smart and responsive bouncy silicone ball lets kids invent and play games
- made with six-axis motion sensor and connects to iPhone, iPad or Mac using Bluetooth technology Invent and build your own games with the free hackaball app by changing color and light patterns, vibrating and playing different sounds
- kids can open the device
- Hackaball CEO: Sebastian Potter
- sold out of initial 4,000 units.

Spin Master: the Meccanoid G16 and G16 KS. | CES 2016

- kids can build and program themselves
- Meccabrain now has double the memory, more robot intelligence, faster voice recognition, and additional programming capability.
- Meccanoid G16 stands two feet tall; SRP $179.99 USD
- Meccanoid G16 KS (that's Kid-Size) stands four feet tall; SRP $399.99 USD

Lego WeDo 2.0 kids science exploration | CES 2016 | Try for free

Lego WeDo 2.0 kids science exploration by asking questions, analyzing data and communicating their findings, while the curriculum pack covers real science practices linked to the Next Generation Science Standards, including gathering evidence, carrying out investigations and designing prototypes. The core set comes with a programmable Smarthub, motor, two sensors and 280 building elements, plus software which includes one Get Started Project, delivering an introductory experience to the resource. Available for both desktop and tablets, the software provides an easy-to-use, icon-based programming environment Included is material for delivering 17 projects totaling more than 40 hours of content. What’s new? WeDo 2.0 features wireless technology, a built-in documentation tool along with assessment rubrics, and a design library full of ideas and inspiration for creating solutions to projects. Core Set features a programmable SmartHub, enhanced motors and sensors and an all-new line up of LEGO® elements.


Your minifigure head on Lego parts by Funky3dfaces- an idea that was borne out of the parent company ELAT3D Ltd who make 3D printed bones for the medical industry and architectural models for architects and surveyors. You select your figure and hairstyle/color then upload your photos. Production time 2-4 weeks. Software has been designed to recreate the human face digitally using complex algorithms. The software does not recognize animal features so no 3D pets, yet. They are 3D printed in a sandstone material. Not waterproof--not for sucking nor bathtime!

Edwin the Duck by pi lab, LLC | CES 2016, has games, stories, songs, and lessons within a collection of apps, using Edwin to control the animated Edwin. Offers more ontent as child grows. SQUACK™ is the technology behind the 2-way interaction between Edwin and the Edwin app, and is based on BTLE (BLUETOOTH® low energy) allowing control of light, sound, and motion. Will invite your child to help the Duck solve problems and overcome obstacles he encounters along the way. With taps, turns, and twists, child will learn how to control the animated Edwin within the App, which requires iOS version 5.1.1 or higher device with BLUETOOTH 4.0 Interactive game within the story "Edwin Feeling Small" App requires iOS version 5.1.1 or higher device with BLUETOOTH 4.0 Equipped with a BLUETOOTH® Speaker, Edwin will dance across the screen while streaming original music. Can provide soft glowing nightlight. App includes white noise sounds, additional lullabies, and timer controls and is available separately. Is waterproof, like rubber duckies and is mold resistant. 252 W Main St Carmel, IN 46032

Mattel to offer diabetes kits for American Girl dolls. December 31, 2015 — Mattel Inc.‘s American Girl, which has been aiming to expand the diversity of its line, will soon be offering diabetic accessories for its dolls...

Mattel Takes a Risk, With Barbie and Bugs. December 31, 2015 — As Gerry Cody, a senior design manager at Mattel, cheerfully loaded a live cricket into the driver’s seat of a new toy car...

Modernizing Super Mario: How Nintendo Has Reinvented Its Star. December 31, 2015 — In the 30-odd years since his debut, Nintendo Co.’s Mario went from a pixelated man — with dots for eyes, a bar for a mustache and a square nose — to an expressive 3D character...

Is Hasbro a Better Way to Play Disney’s Star Wars Success? December 31, 2015 — In only its second week, Stars Wars: The Force Awakens has already surpassed the $1 billion mark...

Mattel Goes High-Tech with Virtual Reality View-Master Toy. December 31, 2015 — One of your favorite childhood playthings just got a high-tech makeover...

Toys R Us Closes Flagship Store: Ferris Wheel, T-Rex and All. December 31, 2015 — For decades, children visiting New York City savored one stop above all: a trip to the kind of toy store that existed only in their imagination...

A tiny electronics company makes some of the most popular toys on Amazon. December 31, 2015 — One of the most popular toys on Amazon this year is made by a small company...

Noisy toys might hurt, not help babies' language skills. December 31, 2015 — Your infant or toddler might have gotten a lot of electronic toys under the Christmas tree this year...

It's Amazon and Also-Rans in Retailers' Race for Online Sales. December 31, 2015 — Two decades after Jeffrey P. Bezos started Amazon in his Bellevue, Wash., garage, his e-commerce juggernaut could be forgiven...

Retailers ring up healthy sales this holiday season. December 31, 2015 — The holiday shopping season isn't quite over for retailers, with millions of customers expected to hit stores and websites...



2016 Toy Fair Booths to Visit
TDmonthly Magazine's January Staff Picks: Start refilling your shelves post-Holidays with our favorite toys of the month.
Brick and Mortar Retail Stores' Best Asset Is Alive And Well: We're nowhere near the end of brick and mortar retail.
GameStop – can they build a bridge before they hit the abyss?: GameStop is veering down a dangerous path, but they still have time.
Why We Go To Toy Fair - Or Stay Home: Thinking about heading to Toy Fair for the first time? These retailers share the pros and cons.

Top-10 Most-Wanted STEM Toys: These STEM toys are fun best-sellers.
Top-10 Most-Wanted Play Sets: Keep kids busy for hours with these play sets, which are also best-sellers.

NPD Reports on Amazon: one of every four American households has access to a Prime account. That gives Amazon extraordinary penetration in a nearly endless number of product categories, reinforces consumers’ growing expectation that e-commerce orders come with free delivery, and makes the online retailer a powerhouse in entertainment. (Only Netflix has a larger number of video subscribers.)

NPD Reports on TV: TV is increasingly app-driven and Internet-delivered. Half of U.S. homes already owned a “connected” TV device . By November of this year, NPD predicts 82 percent growth in such devices through 2018.

NPD Reports on “selfies”: In 2015, “selfies” were the new standard by which we judge beauty. And consumers responded by learning the make-up techniques

Arrest Made: VTech Cyber Attack Incident that exposed data for millions of kids. He was arrested in a dawn raid in Bracknell, Berkshire, 30 miles west of London on December 15, 2015

Drone registration -- Small UAS Registration Rule Registration Begins on December 21, 2015, First 30 Days are Free The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires: registration for owners of small unmanned aircraft (UAS) weighing more than 0.55 pounds (250 grams) and less than 55 pounds (approx. 25 kilograms) including payloads such as on-board cameras. “Make no mistake: unmanned aircraft enthusiast are aviators, and with that title comes a great deal of responsibility,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Registration gives us an opportunity to work with these users to operate their unmanned aircraft safely. I’m excited to welcome these new aviators into the culture of safety and responsibility that defines American innovation.” Registration is a statutory requirement that applies to all aircraft. Under this rule, any owner of a small UAS who has previously operated an unmanned aircraft exclusively as a model aircraft prior to December 21, 2015, must register no later than February 19, 2016. Owners of any other UAS purchased for use as a model aircraft after December 21, 2015 must register before the first flight outdoors. Owners may use either the paper-based process or the new streamlined, web-based system. Owners using the new streamlined web-based system must be at least 13 years old to register. Owners may register through a web-based system at Registrants will need to provide their name, home address and e-mail address. Upon completion of the registration process, the web application will generate a Certificate of Aircraft Registration/Proof of Ownership that will include a unique identification number for the UAS owner, which must be marked on the aircraft. Owners using the model aircraft for hobby or recreation will only have to register once and may use the same identification number for all of their model UAS. The registration is valid for three years. The normal registration fee is $5, but in an effort to encourage as many people as possible to register quickly, the FAA is waiving this fee for the first 30 days (from Dec. 21, 2015 to Jan 20, 2016). The online registration system does not yet support registration of small UAS used for any purpose other than hobby or recreation – for example, using an unmanned aircraft in connection with a business. The FAA is developing enhancements that will allow such online registrations by spring of 2016.


Suit Says Mattel Violated Privacy Rules: Class Action Filed December 2015 -- The claim: Hello Barbie Doll violates children's privacy laws by recording their conversations with the doll without proper consent. Ashley Archer-Hayes and Charity Johnson claim Mattel and interactive toy technology maker ToyTalk violate Children's Online Privacy Protection Act by recording children’s voices during their conversations with the doll and storing them online without obtaining sufficient consent. The women also filed suit against kidSAFE, a seal-of-approval program that certified the doll as COPPA-compliant. According to court documents, in December of this year Archer-Hayes bought “Hello Barbie” for her daughter. She registered it online and downloaded a smartphone app that would allow her to listen to, review and delete recordings the Barbie doll transmits to ToyTalk's servers. However, several days later her daughter and her friends, one of whom is Johnson’s daughter, played with the toy at a Barbie-themed party, which recorded the voices of other children whose parents hadn't consented to its use.The plaintiffs are represented by Steven W. Teppler of Abbott Law Group PA, Michael Louis Kelly, Behram V. Parekh, Heather Baker Dobbs and Justin M. Keller of Kirtland & Packard LLP, Michael W. Sobol of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein LLP, Richard D. McCune of McCuneWright LLP and attorney Briana Kim. The case is Ashley Archer-Hayes et al. v. Toytalk Inc. et al., case number BC603467, in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles.

Bankruptcy judge, Christopher Sontchi, approved tablet maker Fuhu Inc.'s request to use cash collateral. Now, Mattel can provide the company with an infusion of money to fund the business in the short term. The company claims to have $2 million in cash on hand, the vast majority of which was from customers who have outstanding orders. Financial dispute with Foxconn, the manufacturer of Apple's iPhone and Fuhu's exclusive manufacturer for the past few years was the main reason for the bankruptcy. Fuhu accepted a $300,000 loan from Mattel in Dec. 2015 for bankruptcy proceedings. While Mattel will have the option to purchase Fuhu, other companies can submit bids to the judge. The company will continue to ship tablets, provide support....

Traxxas Sues ex-employees, Tommy DeWitt, Hans Beck, Jonathan Beck. They are accused of stealing trade secrets. Lawsuit was initiated in August 2013. Texas Eastern District Court; Judge: Amos L Mazzant, III; Case #: 4:14-cv-00733 ; Case Filed: Nov 14, 2014; Terminated: Jan 30, 2015;

Toy Industry News for January 2016Mattel to offer diabetes kits for American Girl dolls more toy news from January 2016
How do I get my custom plush idea started? How do I make plush toys and stuffed animals? Can you help me sell my toy idea?


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