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January 2012 | Vol. XI - No. 1
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Toys in the News: 1-31-12


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Toys in the News is updated Mon-Fri at 9:15 am PST

U.S. Toy Industry Retail Sales Generated $21.18 Billion in 2011. January 31, 2012 — According to leading market research company, The NPD Group, U.S. retail sales of toys generated $21.18 billion in 2011 compared to $21.68 billion in 2010, a decline of 2 percent.

Toy Company Owners to Be Sentenced in Drug Scheme. January 31, 2012 — For more than four years, a Los Angeles toy company that sold cuddly stuffed animals...

Toy Fair Expands Exhibitor Space to Accommodate Wait-List. January 31, 2012 — After selling out all available exhibit space, the 109th American International Toy Fair is expanding this year's event at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. The newly added 5,900 square feet of exhibit space will be made available in Special Events Hall 1D, immediately adjacent to the Toy Fair Press Center, according to a press release.

Mattel 4th-quarter profit climbs 14 percent on strong holiday demand for Barbie, Hot Wheels. January 31, 2012 — Strong holiday demand for toys including Barbie and Monster High dolls helped push Mattel Inc....

Aurora World Announces All New Plush Lines for Infants, Toddlers. January 31, 2012 — Aurora World Inc. today announced details for three brand new plush gift lines geared towards new parents and their children. Infants and toddlers can get cozy with Aurora’s western-themed Lil’ Howdys, an interactive collection of Crinkle Friends “Brights,” and Quizzies – a plush line using the most luscious and comforting fabric in the marketplace, according to a press release.

Mattel's Acquisition of 'Thomas & Friends' Maker HIT Entertainment to Close on Wednesday. January 31, 2012 — Toy giant Mattel on Tuesday said its $680 million acquisition of HIT Entertainment...

Teenagers in focus as Nuremberg Toy Fair set to open. January 31, 2012 — Teenagers will be a new focus of this year's Nuremberg Toy Fair...

Lego Reveals More 'Lord of the Rings' Minifigs Including Gollum and Other Foes. January 31, 2012 — The Fellowship of the Ring assembled for a group shot in a display showcased during the UK Toy Fair last week...

Silly Dragon, Robots Are for Toddlers. January 31, 2012 — I noticed the trend starting at Toy Fair last year: robots for kids...

Toy Industry Association Joins The Sustainability Consortium. January 31, 2012 — The Toy Industry Association (TIA), the not-for-profit trade association for producers and importers of toys and youth entertainment products sold in North America, has announced its membership with The Sustainability Consortium (TSC), an independent organization of diverse global participants working to design and implement credible, transparent and scalable science-based measurement and reporting systems accessible for all producers and users of consumer products.

The Saga of STRETCH ARMSTRONG: Universal and Lautner Toss, Relativity Toys With Project. January 31, 2012 — In what’s turning into the tortured ballad of Hasbro toy STRETCH ARMSTRONG and his journey to Tinseltown...

Capstone, DC Comics Ink Licensing Deal. January 30, 2012Capstone, a children’s educational and library publisher, has reached a licensing deal with DC Entertainment...

Game of Chance for Toy Makers. January 30, 2012 — A man dressed up as a blueberry is jumping towards me in London's Kensington Olympia...

Toy Fair 2012: Lego Gets Monstrous. January 30, 2012 — I'm always amazed at how casually monsters and horror have worked their way into media...

Teens Send Toy Above the Clouds. January 30, 2012 — It's very cool that two 17-year-old Canadians sent a flag-toting Lego figurine into the sky...

UK Toy Fair 2012 Gadget Round-up – Gears of War Meccano, Star Wars Scalextric, Doctor Who SmartSafe & More. January 27, 2012 — As well as keeping up with all the serious news and usual points of interest this week...

Mega Brands Withdraws Lego lawsuit. January 27, 2012 — Mega Brands Inc., maker of Mega Bloks, toys, puzzles and craft products, said Friday it has withdrawn its legal action...

Innovation First Seizes Thousands of Copycat HEXBUG®Nano™ Products in Defense of Intellectual Property Rights. January 27, 2012 — Innovation First International (UK) Limited and Innovation First International today announced the company has successfully thwarted a Chinese manufacturer as well as Toysmart Ltd, an online UK retailer, from importing nearly 7,000 copy micro robotic toys at the port of Southampton.

Android tablet for kids wins best of show at UK toy fair. January 27, 2012 — An Android tablet designed for children has been awarded Best of Show...

Children's Books Get 21 Oscar Nominations. January 27, 2012 — Who woulda thunk that big, bad Hollywood needs humble children’s book publishing...

Running out of steam: Toy firm Hornby reports weak Christmas sales sparking shares nosedive. January 27, 2012 — Shares in toy firm Hornby plummeted almost 20 per cent this morning...

Smurfs Get Caught Short as Jakks Toy Takeover Seen for 20% Less: Real M&A. January 27, 2012 — Jakks Pacific Inc. (JAKK), which rejected the cheapest offer for a toy company on record...

Five highlights of UK Toy Fair 2012. January 26, 2012 — Remote control robots that send data to online games; Moshi Monsters mashed up with Hex Bugs...

Top 10 Things I Saw at London Toy Fair 2012. January 26, 2012 — Toy Fair season is upon us now, with the London one running this week...

Best tech toys for 2012 (London Toy Fair). January 26, 2012 — Every year, all the biggest toy manufacturers from across the country...

Big Deals at London Toy Fair. January 26, 2012 — Top companies unveiled licensed toy lines at Toy Fair in London this week...

Inspiration Works shows off Kurio, a line of Android tablets for all members of the family. January 26, 2012 — We've seen a number of tablets for children emerge over the past year, and now UK-based Inspiration Works is throwing its hat into the ring with the Kurio...

Random House and Sesame Workshop Step into Digital Reading. January 26, 2012 — Random House Children’s Books and Sesame Workshop are expanding their four-decade-plus licensing relationship, adding e-books and apps...

Angry Birds Unveils Outdoor Game. January 26, 2012 — Nelostuote Oy Tactic and Rovio Entertainment have teamed up for an Angry Birds outdoor action game...

UK Tops European Toy Market with 3% Growth. January 25, 2012
— 2011 toy spend for Christmas week was 15% higher than 2010, but Brits are keeping it in the family...

Movie Tie-In Toys Galore At London’s Toy Fair 2012. January 25, 2012 — Once your inner six year-old has calmed down a bit, take a look at some of the latest move tie-in toys...

London 2012: How the toy market is going for gold. January 25, 2012 — Later this year, youngsters will be cheering on their heroes at the Olympic and Paralympic Games - but will they be recreating those golden moments at home...

Where Have all the Skylanders Gone, Uncle Activision? January 25, 2012 — Activision's action figure-driven Skylanders: Sypro's Adventure was a huge holiday hit last year...

Just 335 shopping days left: why 2012 will be an Appy Christmas. January 25, 2012 — Huge leaps in toy technology are set to provide parents with a new Christmas conundrum this year...

Toys 'R' Us Rewards Program: Where A $5 Certificate Isn't Quite $5. January 25, 2012 — Toys 'R' Us should want to reward Dustin handsomely. He has five kids, and his family buys an awful lot of toys...

Year-to-Date Registration Numbers Skyrocket Across Several Categories for 109th American International Toy Fair. January 25, 2012 — With 18 days to go before the ribbon is cut at the largest toy trade show in the Western hemisphere...

Best New Toys of 2012 announced at UK Toy Fair. January 24, 2012
On January 24 the winners of the Best New Toy Awards were announced at the annual Toy Fair...

Infant Rattles Recalled by Lee Carter Co. Due to Choking Hazard. January 24, 2012 — The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product: About 25,000 Infant Rattles from Lee Carter Co., sold at various Mexican specialty craft stores nationwide from February 2001 through October 2011 for about $4. The rattle's handle is small enough to fit into a child's throat, posing a choking hazard and violating federal rattle standards. Consumers should immediately take the recalled rattles away from infants and return them to Lee Carter Co. for a full refund or credit towards a replacement product.

UK toy industry worth £2.96bn ($4.62bn). January 24, 2012 — Market statistics show the UK's toy industry generated sales worth a total of £2.96 billion in 2011...

Jakks Pacific Stock Rises on Rumors of Takeover Bid by Oaktree. January 24, 2012
— After a weak holiday season, shares of Malibu toy maker Jakks Pacific Inc. rose on rumors that it may once again get a takeover bid...

Toy Maker Lego to Build €125m Complex in Hungary. January 24, 2012 — This summer, global toy maker Lego announced, it will start constructing a new €125m factory complex near Nyíregyháza, Hungary...

FIT Toy Design Department to Host Open House During Toy Fair. January 24, 2012 — Toy Industry Association (TIA) members are invited to celebrate the launch of the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) Toy Design Department’s new, state-of-the-art Toy Lab...

Douglas Company Introduces Tatty Teddy™ Birthday Collection. January 24, 2012 — Tatty Teddy™ has made its way from the UK to the US by way of Douglas Company. Douglas recently introduced the Tatty Teddy Birthday Collection, according to a press release.

Mexican Wrestling Action Figures Recalled by Lee Carter Co. Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard. January 24, 2012 — The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product: About 7,000 packs of Super Luchamania Action Figures from Lee Carter Co., sold at various Mexican specialty craft stores nationwide from June 2000 through October 2011 for between $12 and $14 per pack. The surface paints on the action figures contain excessive levels of lead which is prohibited under federal law. Consumers should immediately take the recalled action figures away from children and return them to Lee Carter Co. for a full refund or credit towards a replacement product.

Expandable Lunch Boxes Recalled by California Innovations Due to Freezer Gel Pack Ingestion Hazard. January 24, 2012 — The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product: About 248,000 Expandable Insulated Lunch Boxes with Freezer Gel Pack from California Innovations Inc., sold at Costco Wholesale Clubs, Leon Korol and Cost U Less stores between May 2007 and September 2008 for about $10. Gel that contains diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol can leak out of damaged freezer gel packs, posing a poisoning hazard if ingested by children or adults. The firm has received two separate reports of a dog chewing and ingesting gel from the gel pack. One dog reportedly died from ingestion of the gel. Consumers should immediately stop using the gel packs and dispose of them according to federal, state and/or local regulations. It is recommended that consumers contact their local waste disposal authority for instructions. Consumers may return the lunch box set to Costco for a full refund or may receive a $5 cash refund for the gel pack only by contacting California Innovations.

Food Carriers Recalled by California Innovations Due to Freezer Gel Pack Ingestion Hazard. January 24, 2012 — The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product: About 55,000 Travelin' Chef Expandable Thermal Food Carrier from California Innovations Inc., sold at Walmart between August 2008 to December 2011 for about $22. Gel that contains diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol can leak out of damaged freezer gel packs, posing a poisoning hazard if ingested by children or adults. Consumers should immediately stop using the gel packs and dispose of them according to federal, state and/or local regulations. It is recommended that consumers contact their local waste disposal authority for instructions. Consumers may return the gel pack to Walmart for a refund of $6 or contact California Innovations customer service at (800) 722-2545 for the same refund.

London 2012: Golden Bear probes Chinese Games mascot factory. January 23, 2012
The London 2012 Organising Committee (Locog) is probing claims about poor pay and conditions at a Chinese factory...

Leapfrog Enterprises Shares Sinking Lower, Down 3.6%. January 23, 2012 — One of today's notable stocks in decline is Leapfrog Enterprises (NYSE:LF), down 3.6% to $5.36...

Mattel Responds to Calls for Bald Barbie. January 23, 2012 — The toy manufacturer has released a statement, which doesn't rule out creating a Bald Barbie...

Mattel: The Dark Knight Rises Details. January 23, 2012 — Here is a quick overview of what Mattel has planned for The Dark Knight Rises toy line...

Gantos, Raschka, Whaley Win Newbery, Caldecott, Printz. January 23, 2012 — Jack Gantos has won the 2012 Newbery Medal for Dead End in Norvelt...

QCC Launches Inspection Campaign to Ensure Safety of Toys. January 23, 2012
— The Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council (QCC) has launched an inspection campaign on toy stores...

Marvel and Hasbro Reveal New 'The Avengers' Movie Toy Images. January 23, 2012 — The Avengers movie action figures of Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk, Hawkeye, Black Widow and Loki got some new press

The End of Retail. January 23, 2012
— In its midcentury heyday, Sears, Roebuck & Co. was the Wal-Mart of its era...

Li & Fung Expands in Asia. January 20, 2012
— Hong Kong-based Li & Fung Limited has acquired children, apparel and toys businesses...

'Dark Knight Rises' Hot Wheels Toy Reveals Real Batwing Name. January 20, 2012 — Merchandise has become one of the most reputable sources of comic book movies news ...

Toy Boss Excited by New Products. January 20, 2012 — Character Group, the Oldham-based toy distributor, is hoping that what it describes as “exceptionally exciting new products”...

Mattel Named to Fortune's 2012 "100 Best Companies to Work For" List for Fifth Consecutive Year. January 19, 2012
FORTUNE announced today that Mattel (NASDAQ: MAT), the world's largest toy company, has been ranked #79 on the 15th annual "100 Best Companies to Work For" list. This is the fifth consecutive year Mattel has been named to this prestigious list, according to a press release.

Hasbro to Expand Marvel Toy Line. January 19, 2012 — Hasbro has expanded its long-term strategic partnership with Marvel Entertainment, adding products to its Marvel Super Hero Adventures...

Toys"R"Us, INC. Appoints Roger Mclaughlan Managing Director, Toys"R"Us, U.K.. January 19, 2012 — Toys"R"Us, Inc. today announced the appointment of Roger McLaughlan as Managing Director, Toys"R"Us, U.K., effective January 16, 2012.

SEGA Seals Sonic Deals. January 19, 2012 — SEGA has signed Meccano for Sonic The Hedgehog construction toys including figurines...

Toy Research Institute Explores Water Printing Method to Decorate Toys. January 19, 2012 — The Toy Research Institute (AIJU) is exploring the water printing method of application to decorate toys...

Screenwriter Graham Yost Dishes Details on 'Major Matt Mason' Film. January 19, 2012 — Just last summer we learned that Forrest Gump team Robert Zemeckis and Tom Hanks were going to team up again for Major Matt Mason...

Toy Industry Foundation Holiday Toy Drive Collects More Than 350,000 Toys Valued at $3.7 million. January 19, 2012 — Thanks to the generosity of toy manufacturers, distributors and retailers throughout North America, the Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) collected more than 350,000 toys...

Next great product soon to hit Walmart shelves. January 19, 2012 — Walmart is offering consumers the chance to get their product sold on Walmart.com and in Walmart stores

China Toy Factories Face Troubles. January 18, 2012 — Hong Kong's plastic toy factories face tough conditions, squeezed between weak markets...

Toy firm suffers sales decline. January 18, 2012 — The popularity of children's favorites Peppa Pig, Fireman Sam and Doctor Who could not save toy distributor Character Group...

Store fined $30K for stocking toy guns. January 18, 2012 — A New York discount store was ordered to pay a $30,000 fine for stocking toy guns...

Amazon.Com Tops In Customer Service, According To NRF Foundation/American Express Survey. January 18, 2012 — Consumers have spoken: Amazon.com has the best customer service among U.S. retailers, according to a survey of thousands of shoppers...

Health Canada: recall of toy wagons, trikes and wheelbarrows over barium concerns. January 18 2012 — Health Canada has posted a recall notice for some toy wagons, tricycles and wheelbarrows after testing found that the coating on the Ertl-brand products contained barium...

Disney Store to Expand Worldwide. January 18, 2012 — Disney Store will expand the retail presence of its new interactive stores to 12 countries...

Despite Holidays, Video Game Sales Drop 21 Percent in December. January 18, 2012 — Despite the holiday season, video game sales during December fell 21 percent to $3.99 billion from $5.07 billion a year earlier...

Aeromax Hires New Vice President of Sales. January 18, 2012 — Toy industry veteran Jim Gunderson is the new Vice President of Sales for Aeromax. Gunderson takes over for fellow industry veteran Mel Davis, who is retiring after six years in this position at Aeromax, and over 30 years in the toy industry, according to a press release.

Mega Brands to battle Lego in U.S. court in California over trademark. January 17, 2012 — The world's two largest construction toy companies could soon face off in a California court...

Iran cracks down on moral peril of Barbie peddlers. January 17, 2012 — Iran's morality police are cracking down on the sale of Barbie dolls...

Steve Jobs Doll Canceled After 'Immense Pressure'. January 17, 2012 — The maker of a controversial Steve Jobs doll is ceasing production...

Weak Domestic Demand Dampens Hasbro holiday-quarter outlook. January 17, 2012 — Toy maker Hasbro Inc (HAS.O) forecast disappointing sales for the key holiday quarter citing weak demand...

NRF Forecasts Retail Industry Sales Growth Of 3.4 Percent In 2012. January 17, 2012 — Though stubbornly high unemployment and continued uncertainty over the prospects for job growth will continue to dampen the outlook...

Gaming Greats Head to London Toy Fair. January 17, 2012 — The biggest brands in gaming will battle for the limelight at this month’s toy industry trade show...

Top U.S. regulator says toy safety is improving. January 17, 2012 — Toys are much safer in the U.S. since a wave of recalls in 2007 and 2008, but manufacturers should be focusing on better toy design...

LEGO Friends Petition: Parents, Women And Girls Ask Toy Companies To Stop Gender-Based Marketing. January 17, 2012
— Debate over gender-based toy marketing has reached a fever pitch...

If you can't beat mobile devices, join them. January 17, 2012 — They're cheap, they're convenient and they're making waves. Consumers of all ages are spending...

Seeking The “Best Retail Stories In America,” NRF Announces This Is Retail Video Contest. January 17, 2012 — As part of its multi-faceted Retail Means Jobs campaign aimed at raising awareness of the retail industry’s significant economic impact...

Increased Legislative Focus on Children’s Issues Likely in 2012. January 17, 2012 — With the U.S. House returning today (January 17th) and the U.S. Senate on January 23rd, the Toy Industry Association (TIA) is anticipating another very active year regarding legislation that could affect the toy industry...

Consumer confidence up. January 17, 2012 — Consumer confidence rose more than forecast in January, reaching its highest level in eight months...

Toy Factory Protest in Dongguan. January 13, 2012Hundreds of workers from a bankrupt Hong Kong-invested toy factory in China's...

China toy factories face troubles. January 13, 2012 — Hong Kong’s plastic toy factories face tough conditions, squeezed between weak markets...

A holiday sales headache: interpreting the results. January 13, 2012 — Was it a good holiday season or a bad one? Depends who you ask and how results are interpreted...

Census Bureau: Retail sales held steady in December. January 13, 2012 — The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that advance estimates of U.S. retail...

GreenLight to Rep Dr. King. January 13, 2012 — GreenLight has been appointed to represent rights to the name, image and likeness of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr....

Scholastic Announces the Return of Captain Underpants. January 13, 2012 — After six years without appearing in a new adventure, Dav Pilkey’s indomitable Captain Underpants...

Could Cancer Cure Barbie? Mattel vs. Beautiful and Bald Barbie. January 13, 2012 — Barbie is just shy of 53 years old. She’s survived the Vietnam War...

CES 2012: Sesame Street Hints AR Tablet Toys Will Be the Tickle-Me Elmo of 2012. January 12, 2012 — As if "Tickle-me Elmo" wasn't bad enough, now the Sesame Workshop -- makers of Sesame Street -- have to come along...

Beating Expectations, Holiday Retail Sales Rise 4.1 Percent, According To NRF. January 12, 2012 — After a season full of peaks and valleys, retailers’ 2011 holiday sales beat expectations, rising 4.1 percent to $471.5 billion...

'Tiger Mothers' Should Tame Parenting Approach, Expert Says. January 12, 2012 — The Eastern view of parenting, as defined by best-selling author and self-described "tiger mother" Amy Chua...

Chariot Carriers Recalls Child Bicycle Trailers and Conversion Kits Due to Injury Hazard. January 12, 2012The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product: About 44,000 Chariot bicycle trailers and 70,000 bicycle trailer conversion kits made by Thule Child Transport Systems Ltd., d/b/a Chariot Carriers, sold at specialty bicycle stores nationwide and on various websites from December 2005 through August 2010 for between $400 and $925 for Chariot bicycle trailers and from October 2002 through August 2011 for between $40 and $70 for bicycle trailer conversion kits. The bicycle trailer’s hitch mechanisms can crack and break, causing the trailer to detach from the bicycle. This poses an injury hazard to children in the bicycle trailer. Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled bicycle trailers and bicycle trailer conversion kits and contact Chariot Carriers for a free repair kit which the consumer can install.

Robot Ball, Kid-Proof Toys Gamble in Vegas: Rich Jaroslovsky. January 12, 2012 — One of the pleasures, and risks, of attending the gigantic Consumer Electronics Show...

Mattel's Barbie to Release Twilight Saga's Bride & Groom Dolls Edward & Bella. January 12, 2012 — Barbie collectors and Twilight Saga fans are in for a double treat...

Douglas Company Debuts Clifford the Big Red Dog® Product Line. January 11, 2012 — The New Hampshire-based plush toy and lifestyle gift creator Douglas Company today announced the launch of its line Clifford the Big Red Dog® plush products, which will include Clifford plush dogs, Clifford Sassy Tote, a Clifford Sassy Pet Sak Sillo™, a Clifford Sillo-ette™, and a Clifford shoulder bag and hand bag, according to a press release.

Toymakers Aim to Buck Economic Gloom at Asia Fair. January 11, 2012 — A smartphone-controlled robot that fires foam bullets and a model of a tyrannosaurus with real bones...

Smart toys: A hit at Hong Kong toy fair. January 11, 2012 — The HKTDC Toys and Games Fair has just opened in South China...

Best-Lock Files Legal Action to Cancel LEGO Trademark. January 11, 2012 — Best-Lock has filed legal action to cancel a LEGO trademark that allegedly has resulted in the seizure of Best-Lock products by United States Customs and Border Protection. Customs and Border Protection is of the opinion that this trademark applies to the small cylindrical studs on Best-Lock construction toy products. If Customs’ interpretation is correct, all other construction block toy brands, such as Mega Bloks, Hasbro’s KRE’O (Transformer Range +), K’NEX and others that include blocks, would also infringe upon this trademark, according to a press release from Best-Lock.

Marvel Taps Jakks for Super Hero Squad. January 11, 2012 — Marvel Entertainment has signed Jakks Pacific for a line of plush products...

Summer Infant: An Early Stage Growth Story. January 11, 2012 — Although investment writers often seem to hate growth-by-acquisition roll-up stories, there's a reason that they keep popping up...

NINFRA, USA Baby form alliance. January 11, 2012 — The National Independent Nursery Furniture Retailers Assn. and USA Baby buying groups have formed an alliance...

The Smartest Toy Blocks Ever Made: Cubelets. January 11, 2012 — These little cubes from Modular Robotics make programming so easy, even an eight-year-old can do it...

Solar-powered toys: educational or just gimmicky? January 11, 2012 — Sitting in his booth at the Hong Kong Toy Fair, Samuel Sy, the general manager of Amazing Toys Ltd...

Market Track: December 2011. January 11, 2012
— Following a wild ride during Black Friday, the last month of the year in 2011...

Nuremberg: Museum chronicles the history of toys. January 11, 2012 — One of my favorite toys as a child was Castle Grayskull, a plastic playset for action figures...

Antarctic Press Wins Extension in Wimpy Kid Suit. January 11, 2012 — Antarctic Press, the small manga publisher that was sued for trademark infringement...

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, TT Games and The LEGO Group Announce LEGO® Batman™ 2: DC Super Heroes. January 11, 2012 — Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, TT Games and The LEGO Group are teaming up once again to announce that LEGO® Batman™ 2: DC Super Heroes will be available beginning Summer 2012 for the Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, the Wii™ system, and Windows PC, as well as the Nintendo DS™ hand-held system, Nintendo 3DS™ hand-held system, and PlayStation®Vita handheld entertainment system.

Toy Fair Public Relations Team to Host “Product Preview” on Feb. 11th. January 11, 2012 — A “Product Preview” will be hosted by the Toy Fair Public Relations Team on Saturday, February 11th beginning at 10 a.m. at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center...

HEXBUG(R) Creator Partners with Global Kids Hit Moshi Monsters(TM) to Launch All New Bobble Bots(TM) Brand & Product Line. January 11, 2012 — Innovation First International, masterminds behind the internationally recognized HEXBUG(R) Micro Robotic Creatures brand, today announced it is launching a new Bobble Bots(TM) brand and product line. For this new licensing partnership, the company has joined forces with Mind Candy, the entertainment firm behind the globally successful Moshi Monsters brand...

Microsoft to bring Kinect to Windows PCs. January 10, 2012
— Microsoft plans to bring its Kinect technology to bear on personal computers following its phenomenal success...

Mattel to Webcast Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2011 Earnings Conference Call. January 10, 2012 — Mattel, Inc. MAT +1.14% today announced that it will webcast its quarterly conference call on Tuesday, January 31, 2012 at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time...

Fisher-Price and Spatial View Partner to Bring View-Master(R) 3-D Content Into the Digital Age. January 10, 2012 — Fisher-Price, Inc., the largest infant and preschool toy manufacturer and a subsidiary of Mattel, Inc., announced a new partnership with Spatial View Inc., a leading innovator in stereo 3D content distribution and auto-stereoscopic display technologies...

The Land of Nod Recalls Bed Frames Due to Entrapment Hazard. January 10, 2012 — The following product safety recall was voluntarily conducted by the firm in cooperation with the CPSC: About 1,600 units Blake Bed Frames from The Land of Nod, sold exclusively at The Land of Nod stores in Illinois and Washington, The Land of Nod catalog and website from September 2009 through October 2011 for about $600 for the twin size and $700 for full size. A child's torso can become lodged in the gap between the footboard's top rail and the mattress, posing an entrapment hazard to the child. Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled footboard and contact The Land of Nod for a replacement footboard with a closed-gap design.

Proactive at the Ports: CPSC Stops Unsafe Products Before They Reach Consumers. January 10, 2012 — Stepped up efforts by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to be more proactive have resulted in hundreds of millions of violative or dangerous units of products being stopped at U.S. ports and prevented from ever reaching the hands of consumers...

Wi-Spi surveillance 'toys' shown at CES. January 10, 2012 — Interactive Toy Concepts was showing off its new "Wi-Spi" line of remote control video...

More winners than losers in December. January 10, 2012 — Target may have floundered a bit in December, but many retailers reported...

Asia's Biggest Toy Fair Opens in HK. January 9, 2012 — Environmentally friendly toys, stationery and baby products have attracted more than 2,600 exhibitors to four trade fairs...

New video game sales give GameStop slight boost. January 9, 2012GameStop reported that total sales for the nine-week holiday period ended Dec. 31 were $3.03 billion...

Lion Rampant Imports signs licensing agreement for S’quarrels® card game. January 9, 2012 — Lion Rampant Imports has entered into a comprehensive licensing agreement with Home Lantern Games for their hit family card game S’quarrels®. The agreement gives Lion Rampant Imports the exclusive rights to publication, distribution and marketing across North America, according to a press release.

4Kids Wins Court Decision. January 9, 2012 — The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York has ruled in favor of 4Kids Entertainment...

Sun-Mate Snares Brands. January 9, 2012 — Sun-Mate has signed agreements for several brands including Star Wars, Spider-Man, Power Rangers, WWE, Hello Kitty/KISS...

Campaign for Mattel to Produce Bald Barbie Growing. January 9, 2012 — Mattel is being urged to mass produce a bald Barbie in order to make girls suffering from hair loss...

ASTRA Marketplace & Academy Educational Program Unveiled. January 9, 2012The full program for ASTRA’s 2012 Marketplace & Academy was announced today by the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA). The event takes place June 10-13, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland. Strategies for increasing toy store profits and tactics to ramp up the customer experience will be big topics at the June event, as will the importance of play for healthy child development and using social media to promote independent stores.

Toy Industry Foundation Holiday Toy Drive Collects More Than 350,000 Toys Valued at $3.7 million. January 9, 2012Thanks to the generosity of toy manufacturers, distributors and retailers throughout North America...

7 Arrested In School Bus Attack. January 9, 2012A school bus beating left a teenager unconscious and led to the arrest of seven classmates Friday...

Clifford the Big Red Dog Live Musical Kicks off Tour. January 6, 2012 — Scholastic Media, a division of Scholastic Inc., the global children’s publishing, education and media company, announced today the kick off of a new 50 City live touring show called ‘Clifford The Big Red Dog LIVE! A BIG Family Musical.’ Beginning in Vermont and Connecticut this weekend, the tour will include stops in more than 50 cities and will include both school and public performances. The current schedule can be viewed here.

December Same-Store Sales Rise. January 6, 2012 — Retail same-store sales rose slightly in December with 3.6 percent growth...

Thinkway Toys Named Global Master Toy Licensee for Despicable Me 2. January 6, 2012 — Universal Partnerships & Licensing (UP&L), Illumination Entertainment and Thinkway Toys today announced that they will partner on the global production of toys based on the highly anticipated follow-up to Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment's blockbuster hit Despicable Me...

Wimpy, Hungry Holiday Titles Keep Cash Registers Ringing. January 6, 2012 — “We’re definitely up, busier than we’ve been, maybe ever,” says Krista Gilliam, manager of Little Shop of Stories...

Bicycle Helmets Recalled by Triple Eight Distribution Due to Risk of Head Injury. January 6, 2012 — The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product: About 30,400 bicycle helmets for children and youth from Triple Eight Distribution, Inc., sold at bicycle and sports stores and other retailers nationwide and online from August 2006 through November 2011 for about $40. Product testing demonstrated that these helmets do not comply with CPSC safety standards for impact resistance. Consumers should stop using the product immediately and contact Triple Eight for a full refund.

Director Chris Columbus to Write Three-Book Middle-Grade Series. January 6, 2012 — HarperCollins has announced it has preempted rights to a three-book middle-grade series...

Toys R Us sees US revenue metric rise in December. January 6, 2012 — Toys R Us Inc.'s revenue at stores open at least a year rose 1.2 percent in the U.S. in December...

Blend of Online & Offline Tactics Inspire Toy Shopping . January 6, 2012 — Digital media continued to grow in importance for shoppers researching toys this holiday season...

Children's Chairs and Stools Recalled by Elegant Gifts Mart Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard. January 6, 2012 — The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product: About 1,600 chairs and 1,300 stools from Elegant Gifts Mart Inc., sold exclusively at 1 to Seven stores in Puerto Rico from September 2010 through June 2011 for between $5 and $6. The yellow surface paint on the metal frame of the children's chairs and stools contains excessive levels of lead which is prohibited under federal law. Consumers should immediately take the recalled tables and folding chairs away from children and return them to any 1 to Seven store in Puerto Rico or contact Elegant Gifts Mart for a full refund.

Justin Bieber: Spokesman for Vietnamese Toy Robots? January 6, 2012 — According to a press release sent by the folks behind the Consumer Electronics Show...

Marvel’s Lawyers Toy with Humanity of Mutants. January 6, 2012 — Marvel’s lawyers want you to know that the publisher’s merry mutants are in no way human...

Smartphone-Controlled Robot Leads the Way at Asia's Largest Toy Fair. January 6, 2012 — Asia's largest toy fair opens in Hong Kong next week with the industry facing tough times...

Diana Dunn-Graves, Vice President of Marketing for Fisher-Price Brands, Passes Away at 49. January 6, 2012 — Diana Dunn-Graves, 49, of Middletown died due to complications from breast cancer at Riverview Medical Center...

U.S. Economy Gains Steam as 200,000 Jobs Are Added. January 6, 2012 — Maybe it is time to start calling the glass half full...

CE Report Offers Holiday Recap, 2012 Outlook. January 6, 2012 — Just in time for the Consumer Electronics Show next week in Las Vegas...

Online Sets New Sales Record. January 6, 2012 — Online sales increased 15% to $35.3 billion from Nov. 1 through Dec. 25...

Meredith to Acquire Disney Magazine. January 5, 2012
— Meredith signed an agreement with Disney Publishing Worldwide to acquire the assets...

YooHoo & Friends eBook, App Launch on Apple Devices. January 5, 2012 — Aurora World Inc., today announced two new iPhone and iPad releases based on its best-selling plush animal line called YooHoo & Friends (www.yoohoofriends.com). A YooHoo & Friends Adventure is an ebook for iPad adapted from the YooHoo & Friends animated series while Action Sticker HD is an educational app for iPhone and iPad that helps children build learning skills via the theory of multiple intelligences.

Imperial Toy Signs Lalaloopsy Licensing Deal. January 5, 2012 — California-based toy manufacturer Imperial Toy has struck a licensing agreement with licensor MGA Entertainment...

IKEA Recalls to Repair High Chairs Due to Fall Hazard. January 5, 2012 — The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product: About 169,000 (133,000 in the U.S. and 36,000 in Canada) ANTILOP High Chairs, sold exclusively at IKEA stores nationwide from August 2006 through January 2010 for about $20. The high chair's restraint buckle can open unexpectedly, posing a fall hazard to the child. Consumers should immediately stop using the high chairs and contact IKEA to obtain a free replacement seat restraint.

Leaping Lizards and Dinosaurs Inspire Robot Design. January 5, 2012 — University of California, Berkeley, biologists and engineers - including undergraduate and graduate students - studied how lizards...

Lego Buys out Partner in Schools Unit. January 5, 2012 — The toy maker Lego has taken full control of its education division...

U.S. Twin Birth Rate at All-Time High. January 5, 2012 — More pregnant women are getting more than they may have expected...

What Happens When A Kid With Down Syndrome Models For Target & Nordstrom. January 5, 2012 — Ryan has what some folks call an "all-American" look: Blond hair, blue eyes...

Breast-feeding at Work Now Protected by Law. January 5, 2012 — Breast-feeding avengers may be coming to a workplace near you. Women want to be able to breast feed their babies...

Why E-Reading with Your Kid Can Impede Learning. January 5, 2012 — A sizeable number of young kids will be getting e-readers this Christmas...

Inflatable Sharks Cruising New Zealand Skies. January 4, 2012 — A Hamilton man who lost his inflatable shark toy on Christmas Day believes it floated all the way to Christchurch...

CPSC Launches Registry for Small Batch Children's Product Manufacturers. January 4, 2012 — CPSC is launching an easy-to-use registry for small batch manufacturers, which can be found at www.SaferProducts.gov. Congress directed CPSC to establish this registry for small batch manufacturers in Public Law 112-28, which was signed into law by President Obama on August 12, 2011.

Scholastic Media Launches I Spy® Arcade Game Apps for iPhone® and Android™ Platforms. January 4, 2012 — Scholastic Media...announced recently the launch of ‘I SPY Arcade’, a series of four new gaming apps inspired by the brain-teasing play of I SPY ®, the best-selling books and games from Scholastic. All four applications will be available for the iPhone® and iPod Touch® on the iTunes App Store, as well as for Android™ smart phones and tablets on the Android Market and other carrier stores, according to a press release.

Toy Company Trial Thursday. January 4, 2012 — After nearly two and a half years, numerous continuances, and an appearance on the dismissal docket, the case between Missouri Employers Mutual and Whittle Toy Company...

To Win Kids Back, Toy Maker Taps Tablet and Phone Apps. January 4, 2012 — It’s a familiar refrain among parents of young children: Kids don’t want to play with toys...

Sears Taps Retail Veteran to Oversee Merchandising. January 4, 2012 — Sears Holdings Corp., struggling with declining sales, on Tuesday said it named a retail industry veteran to a new position...

LeapFrog inks deal to license Hasbro shows. January 4, 2012 — Toymakers LeapFrog Enterprises Inc. and Hasbro Inc. said Thursday that they reached a deal for LeapFrog...

TIA Annual Business Meeting to be Held during Toy Fair. January 4, 2012 — In a letter to members issued today, the Toy Industry Association (TIA) announced that its Annual Business Meeting will convene at 8:00 am on Tuesday, February 14, 2012...

TIA Submits Industry Comments on Proposed COPPA Revisions. January 4, 2012 — The Toy Industry Association (TIA) submitted an industry response on December 23rd, 2011 to the call for comments on the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) proposed revisions to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)...

E-commerce survey: Amazon tops in holiday service; Gap lags. January 4, 2012 — Survey results released Wednesday by customer experience analytics firm ForeSee found...

Why It's So Terrible That Poor Kids Aren't Getting Enough Playtime. January 3, 2012
Children in poor urban neighborhoods need more chances for old-fashioned playtime in their daily lives...

Punishment Helps Kids Learn To Lie. January 3, 2012Here's a news flash. Parenting is hard. There are so many competing goals. We want to raise happy kids...

Hasbro Shuts My Little Pony Site, Man Fans Revolt. January 3, 2012 — It's going to be harder to salivate over the precious hijinks of My Little Pony for a weird conglomeration of "Bronies"...

The Very Model of a (LEGO) Architect. January 3, 2012 — About a year ago, just before Christmas, in the harsh, flat light of a cold December...

Toy Maker Mattel Scored at 2011 Kancil Awards. January 3, 2012 — Toy maker Mattel was named "Advertiser of the Year" at the recent Kancil Awards 2011...

Wii sales plummet in 2011; Wii U coming at the right time? January 3, 2012 — Lost amid today's talk of strong 3DS sales was Nintendo's revelation that it sold just 4.5 million Wiis...

More "Toy Story"! January 2, 2012 — The "Toy Story" movies may have ended with "Toy Story 3", but fans that cannot get enough can now get more updates...

Upcoming ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ Toys Reveal Movie Spoilers. January 2, 2012 — It’s pretty ironic that after trying so hard to keep specific plot devices of ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ ...

'The Avengers': Toy Company Potentially Unmasks Joss Whedon's Surprise Villain. January 2, 2012 — Comic book fans be warned. If you're planning on avoiding Avengers spoilers...

A tech toy timeline for 2012 (video). January 2, 2012 — For even the most conscientious tech-industry watchers, keeping track of what's coming down the pike can be a tricky task...




5 Most Anticipated Toy Lines of 2012.
January 2, 2012 — The time is upon us when we look at what is to come. Already the studios have flooded...

Aurora World, Ty, Inc. Settle Federal Copyright Case. January 2, 2012 — Aurora World Inc. today announced it has reached a settlement agreement with Ty, Inc....

Wimpy Kid Wins Restraining Order Against Comics Parody. December 30, 2011The Wimpy Kid was not so wimpy in a Massachusetts court Wednesday when...

Elly Mae Clampett Barbie Doll Suit Settled. December 30, 2011 — The actress who played Elly May Clampett on the "The Beverly Hillbillies," toymaker Mattel...

Grand Sounds From Toy Piano. December 30, 2011 — As a classically trained pianist, Phyllis Chen knew her way around a grand piano from a young age...

Why Barbie is a Real Doll of an Investment. December 30, 2011 — In most cases, turning a profit in the world of doll collecting requires a great deal of research...

Should the World of Toys Be Gender-Free? December 30, 2011 — Now that the wrapping paper and the infernal clamshell packaging have been relegated...



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