Toys in the News: 9-29-10
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Chorion Unveils "Little Miss Princess" Character. September 29, 2010 — Chorion has introduced a new Little Miss character, Little Miss Princess, in honor of the Mr. Men and Little Miss brands' 40th anniversary in 2011. The character, decked out in pink princess-inspired fashions, will debut in a Spring 2011 book, with an apparel and accessories line to follow, according to a press release.
Baby Sherpa Partners With Warner Bros. for "Life As We Know It" Movie Sweepstakes. September 29, 2010 — Diaper bag company Baby Sherpa has announced the launch of its "Life As We Know It" contest, in association with Warner Bros. Fans will have the chance to win a private movie theater screening of the film for themselves and 50 friends, along with other prizes including movie posters, Baby Sherpa backpacks and Safe2Go safety harnesses, according to a press release. "Life As We Know It," starring Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel, hits theaters October 8.
In Study, Children Cite Appeal of Digital Reading (New York Times). September 29, 2010 — Many children want to read books on digital devices and would read for fun more frequently if they could obtain e-books. But even if they had that access, two-thirds of them would not want to give up their traditional print books.
Toy Makers Fight for Exemption From Rules (New York Times). September 28, 2010 — Is a football mainly for children? What about a Halloween costume or a model train? None of the above, manufacturers say, as a new federal crackdown on dangerous toys has left some in the industry crying foul and not wanting to play.
Thomas the Train Rescues Mega Brands. September 28, 2010 — Mega Brands has been gaining market share over the past 18 months and had a good first half this year but is facing challenges in the second half, including inventory overhang of Iron Man 2 products and a very strong competitive movie license scene from LEGO. TDmonthly Guest Expert Lutz Muller believes that Mega Brands has turned the corner and is looking forward to a strong 2011 on the basis of its two crackerjack movie licenses Thor and Captain America as well as increasing consumer acceptance of the Thomas Friends license. Read more of his analysis and/or watch his video summary in the October issue of TDmonthly.
Classic Media and Tiger Aspect Establish Tinga Tinga Tales Fund. September 28, 2010 — Classic Media and Tiger Aspect Productions, co-producers of the animated preschool series "Tinga Tinga Tales," have announced the launch of the Tinga Tinga Tales Fund that will be devoted to educating children in Africa. A portion of the net proceeds from the series will be donated to the fund, and children's publisher Puffin has pledged to donating new "Tinga Tinga Tales" books to The Pearson Education Programme, benefiting early childhood education in East Africa, according to a press release.
Winscott Secures Rights to "Being Erica, the Board Game." September 28, 2010 — Winscott Corporation has licensed the rights to produce "Being Erica, the Board Game," based on the one-hour Canadian television series from Temple Street Productions, according to a press release.
Braces For Young Kids Might Not Always Be Best (NPR). September 27, 2010 — ... Many parents are now opting for early orthodontic treatment, and the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children see an orthodontist for an evaluation no later than age 7. But research shows there are often advantages to deferring treatment, though decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.
JAKKS Pacific, Inc. Reaches 52-Week High (Learning Markets). September 27, 2010 — JAKKS Pacific, Inc. established a new 52-week high yesterday at $16.74.
Very Hungry Caterpillar Adds International Deals (License! Global). September 27, 2010 — Chorion has announced a string of new licensing and promotional deals, as well as partners for The World of Eric Carle in the U.S., U.K., Germany, Australia, Asia Pacific and Japan.
Kids Are Learning to Swear Earlier (Yahoo! News). September 24, 2010 — Children are learning to use profanity - swearing - at an earlier age, according to research presented at the Sociolinguistics Symposium this month.
Scholastic Media Launches "Get Goosebumps!" Halloween Campaign. September 24, 2010 — Scholastic Media, licensor for the 300 million-selling Goosebumps book brand, has launched its second annual “Get Goosebumps” media campaign for the Halloween season. The project will include a mall tour, new "Goosebumps" DVDs and books and in-store events, according to a press release.
Senario Appoints The Wilko Group as Canadian Distribution Partner. September 24, 2010 — Game and toy maker Senario has named The Wilko Group as its Canadian toy sales partner. The partnership aims to build Senario’s product distribution into the mass retail market, according to a press release.
Video Gaming Prepares Brain for Bigger Tasks. September 24, 2010 — Playing video games regularly can reorganize the brain's cortical network, helping children perform other visuomotor tasks, according to a study by the Centre for Vision Research at York University in Canada. Researchers compared a group of young men in their twenties who had played video games at least four hours a week for the past three years to a control group who did not play video games regularly. The study found that less active gamers relied on the parietal cortex, the brain area involved in hand-eye coordination, for difficult visuomotor tasks, while experienced gamers relied more on the prefrontal cortex. The finding that using visuomotor skills can reorganize how the brain functions will likely be used in future Alzheimer's research, according to a press release.
Mattel to Issue $500 Million of Senior Notes. September 23, 2010 — Mattel, Inc. has announced that it will sell $250 million aggregate principal amount of 4.350% notes due October 1, 2020 and $250 million aggregate principal amount of 6.200% notes due October 1, 2040 in a public offering. Bank of America Securities LLC and RBS Securities Inc. will act as representatives of the underwriters. Mattel plans to use net proceeds from the offering for corporate purposes, including repayment of debt maturing in 2011. The offering is set to close on September 28, 2010, according to a press release.
Children's Pocket Money Hits a Seven-Year Low. September 20, 2010 — British children's average weekly pocket money sum has plummeted to its lowest numbers since 2003, a survey by Halifax, a division of Lloyds Banking Group, has found. Data from the survey, conducted among 1,204 children aged 8 to 15 between August 26 and September 2, showed that average pocket money has fallen to 5.89 pounds ($9.23 USD) a week in 2010, down from 6.34 pounds in 2009. The figure is the lowest since 2003, when children received an average of 5.79 pounds, according to Reuters.
Blue Planet Software Announces Tetris Licensing Program. September 23, 2010 — Blue Planet Software Inc, the exclusive licensing agent for the Tetris video game brand, has partnered with Licensing Works! for a Tetris product licensing program. Licensees include TechnoSource for tabletop games and Basic Fun for electronic keychains. The first new Tetris licensed products will be revealed at upcoming trade shows including October's Fall Toy Show in Dallas, according to a press release.
Herobuilders Rolls Out Michaele Salahi Fashion Doll. September 23, 2010 — Toy maker Herobuilders has immortalized Michaele Salahi, the infamous "White House Party Crasher" and star of "The Real Housewives of D.C.", as a fashion doll. The doll comes wearing a red evening gown and will sell for $39.95 at herobuilders.com, according to a press release.
Halloween Spending Soars in 2010. September 23, 2010 — The National Retail Federation has announced that after a 2009 decline, Halloween retail sales have risen back to 2008 levels. According to a survey conducted by BIGresearch, the average American will spend $66.28 on costumes, candy and decor in 2010, compared to last year's average of $56.31. Total U.S. spending for the holiday is expected to reach $5.8 billion, according to a press release.
Rocket USA Launches Lubies Sale. September 23, 2010 — Rocket USA has announced a 48-hour Lubies sale, running from September 23 to September 24, 2010. Retailers who order 64 Lubies items will receive a free "Spread the Lub" display kit valued at $320, according to a statement. Orders can be placed by email at email@example.com, or by phone at 708-358-8888.
Macy's to Increase Temporary Hires for Holiday Season (ABC News). September 23, 2010 — Macy's Inc. said it plans to hire about 65,000 seasonal staff for the holiday season -- a slight increase from previous years.
5 Million Cans of Baby Formula Recalled Over Bug Contamination (Yahoo! News). September 23, 2010 — Abbott Laboratories is recalling five million containers of its best-selling Similac baby formula, The Associated Press reported. The recall, which affects powdered formula sold in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Guam and some Caribbean countries, was ordered because the product may contain beetles or beetle larvae.
U.S. Book Sales Fall for First Time in Six Months (The Detroit News). September 22, 2010 — Book sales in the U.S. fell for the first time in six months in July as revenue from printed titles tumbled and purchases of digital books soared.
WONKA Candy Company Opens First Store in Toys R Us Times Square. September 22, 2010 — Candy maker WONKA has opened its first retail shop, located in Toys R Us Times Square in New York. The store features displays replicating iconic scenes from the Willy Wonka film, including a chocolate bar-filled conveyor belt and an edible garden replete with candy mushrooms, a Pixy Stix tree, Laffy Taffy flowers and "flying" Sweetarts candies, according to a press release.
CBS Consumer Products Secures 12 Licensing Deals. September 22, 2010 — CBS Consumer Products has signed 12 international licensees for its television properties. The companies, including M6 Interactions, Moulded Acrylics and Abysse, will produce toys, games, apparel and novelties for the CBS brands CSI, NCIS, Star Trek, Mighty Mouse, Happy Days and Beverly Hills 90210, according to a press release.
Saban Unveils Power Rangers Samurai (Kidscreen). September 22, 2010 — Re-acquired from Disney for a reported US$100 million this past spring, Power Rangers is the first property handpicked by newly established IP management biz Saban Brands, and the company's ready to unveil the 17-year-old property's latest iteration, Power Rangers Samurai, with a transmedia and global distribution strategy in-hand.
Star Wars Products Hit Build-A-Bear Workshop (License! Global). September 22, 2010 — Build-A-Bear Workshop and Lucasfilm have teamed up to roll out an exclusive line of Star Wars products this Friday.
Toys R Us Reveals 2010 Holiday Hot Toy List. September 21, 2010 — Toys R Us has released its annual list of "hot" holiday toys. The firm chose the 36 items on the list for their "outstanding value in quality, price and play," according to a press release. This year's toys include Bigfoot the Monster from Fisher-Price, Sing-a-ma-Jigs! and Monster High dolls from Mattel, Squinkies from Blip Toys and the My Pillow Pets series. A full list is available at Toysrus.com/HotToys.
U.S. Recession Ended in June 2009, Says NBER. September 20, 2010 — The National Bureau of Economic Research has stated that the U.S. recession that began in December 2007 ended in June 2009, and that if another slump were to occur it would be considered a separate recession. The 18-month economic downturn is the longest since the Great Depression, with the modern recessions of 1973-1975 and 1981-1982 lasting 16 months each, according to a press release.
Douglas Company Appoints Doug Adolphson Vice President of Sales. September 20, 2010 — Plush toymaker Douglas Company has announced the addition of Doug Adolphson as Vice President of Sales. Adolphson has worked in the plush and gift industry for over 25 years, previously holding sales and executive positions with companies including Russ Berrie and Gund, according to a press release.
Disney Launches High-End "Fantasia" Accessories Line (License! Global). September 20, 2010 — Walt Disney Signature has teamed up with three designers to launch a high-end, adult-targeted accessories line inspired by "Fantasia."
Retailers Reap Benefits as Digital Game Distribution Slows. September 20, 2010 — A recent study found that 80 percent of electronic gamers do not purchase games digitally, market research firm Interpret LLC reported Monday. The study also revealed that gamers who download digitally purchase approximately 20 percent more games at retail locations than gamers who do not buy digitally, according to a press release.
Strawberry Shortcake Kids' Meals at McDonald's (License! Global). September 20, 2010 — McDonald's kids' meals are getting a Strawberry Shortcake twist this month in North America, according to American Greetings Properties and global agent Cookie Jar Entertainment.
Chuck E. Cheese Recalls 1.2 Million Toys (Dallas Morning News). September 18, 2010 — Any new battery-powered toys sold by Chuck E. Cheese restaurants will be "designed to higher standards of battery containment," an executive with the chain's parent said Wednesday as the company ramped up its largest product recall ever.
Keeping Kids Safe From the Wrong Dangers (New York Times). September 18, 2010 — ... If history is any guide, we seem to veer between overreaction and underreaction — all while defining our own response as “moderate.”
Slightly More Demure Bratz Dolls Reappear On Store Shelves (Los Angeles Times). September 18, 2010 — MGA is relaunching the once-hot brand, which was crippled during the toy maker's long legal battle with Mattel.
Google Predicts Hot Toys for the Holiday. September 17, 2010 — According to CNNMoney.com, Google's trends spotting tool has come up with a preview of what products this holiday season's favorites to becoming best-sellers. The top toy manufacturers with high increases in search queries, according to Google, include Hasbro and Mattel, while the one item that remains strong in the market is the wildly popular Silly Bandz, rubber bracelets shaped like animals and everyday items. Other toys include Japanese erasers and Balance Bikes.
Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Looks Into 100-ppm Lead Limit in Toys. September 17, 2010 — As of August 11, 2011, under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), products for children may not contain lead levels exceeding 100 parts per million (ppm), unless this level is technologically unfeasible. The CPSC, in an effort to learn more about the feasibility of this requirement, is requesting the following information to be submitted to them by September 27, 2010:
More information about the CPSC and the CPSIA can be found here.
- First, for products and materials that now meet the 100-ppm lead content limit, information is sought on industrial strategies or devices that have enabled the manufacturer to comply with the limit.
- Second, for products and materials that currently do not meet the 100-ppm limit, but do meet the 300-ppm limit, information is sought on whether different products or materials could bring the lead content down to the lower limit or information is requested on the lowest lead content below 300 ppm that is technologically feasible.
Hot Toys announces 1/6th Scale Barney Ross Collectible Figure from The Expendables Movie. September 17, 2010 — The Expendables character Barney Ross, as portrayed by Sylvester Stallone, has been crafted into a 1/6th scale collectible figurine. The collectible figure features a movie-accurate Barney Ross, with body tattoo, two interchangeable costume styles, and various other accessories.
Ubisoft Reveals Tokyo Game Show Lineup. September 16, 2010 — Ubisoft has announced the products it will showcase at the 2010 Tokyo Game Show on September 18 and 19. Attendees can test games including Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, Child Of Eden, Michael Jackson The Experience and Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X. 2 at the Ubisoft booth (Hall 2, Booth 40), and Shaun White Skateboarding will be shown in 3-D for a select media audience, according to a press release.
FAO Schwartz to Open 10 Pop-Up Stores. September 16, 2010 — Toy retailer FAO Schwarz has announced plans to open several holiday pop-up stores. The shops have already opened in two locations, with eight more locations to open in coming months, according to a press release.
Fun Stuff Toys Recalled (UPI.com). September 15, 2010 — The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a voluntary recall of Fun Stuff bracelets, BoBo balls and Klick Klick balls due to a choking hazard.
Crorey Creations Announces Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign. September 15, 2010 — Crorey Creations, the toy company behind My Friendship Bracelet Maker, has launched a breast cancer awareness campaign, “Pink and White, Kids Join the Fight!" During the month of October 2010, the firm will be collecting pink and white friendship bracelets from fans, and will then distribute the bracelets to children with a family member affected by the disease. Patterns and instructions for the bracelets are available at My Friendship Bracelet Maker Workshop. Crorey Creations will also donate $1 to a breast cancer research foundation for every My Friendship Bracelet Maker sold to a retailer in October, according to a press release.
TOMY Partners with Toys R Us for US TOMICA launch. September 15, 2010 — TOMY Corporation has announced it will launch its TOMICA die-cast toy line through an exclusive first-year retail partnership with Toys R Us. TOMICA, Japan's best-selling die-cast car and train line, will be available at Toys R Us stores and at the retailer's website starting in October, according to a press release.
"Toyland" Documentary to Screen at Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival. September 15, 2010 — Toyland, a documentary film about toy inventors and the toy industry, has been accepted into the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, the longest-running documentary film festival in the United States. The project, helmed by "Knuckleball" director Ken Sons, has already garnered the official support of the National Toy Hall of Fame, according to a press release. More information about the film can be found at www.toylandmovie.com, with a trailer available at www.theplaymakers.com/FILMS/TRAILER.html. ToyDirectory.com/TDmonthly Magazine's own documentary, Toy Frenzy!, is now seeking completion funds, so stay tuned for more toy movies!
Classic Media Distributes New Series from "Hannah Montana" Co-Creator. September 15, 2010 — Classic Media has obtained global distribution and licensing rights to "Life with Boys," the new series from "Hannah Montana" co-creator Michael Poryes. The show, produced by Corus Entertainment, Nelvana and YTV, is set to begin a 26-episode run in February 2011, according to a press release.
Hasbro Expands Littlest Pet Shop Website and Toy Line. September 14, 2010 — Hasbro has announced it will extend its Littlest Pet Shop Online (LPSO) brand with toys and new web features. The company will launch a pet collection program on the site that will allow girls to receive online benefits when they enter special codes included with purchases. New products, including the LPSO Dancing Dog and Starter Pack toys will hit stores in September, according to a press release.
Knopf to Publish Picture Book from President Obama (Publishers Weekly). September 14, 2010 — This November, Knopf Books for Young Readers will publish "Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters," a picture book by President Barack Obama, and illustrated by Loren Long.
Mattel Rolls Out “Barbie: A Fashion Fairytale” DVD. September 14, 2010 — Mattel has released the original animated story “Barbie: A Fashion Fairytale” on DVD. In the tale, which launches Tuesday, Barbie travels to Paris with her dog Sequin for a “modern-day fairytale filled with fashion, friends and fun,” according to a press release. A “Fashion Fairy Tale” toy line is also available.
Silly Bandz Partners With Justin Bieber for Collection. September 13, 2010 — BCP Imports has tapped teenage pop singer Justin Bieber to create a range of Silly Bandz products. The rubber band bracelets will launch in Toys R Us stores on September 18, 2010, and will be sold at numerous retailers nationwide starting September 20, according to a press release.
4Kids Adds Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's Partners (License! Global). September 13, 2010 — 4Kids Entertainment International has signed three more licensees for Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, including Panini and others.
Hazards: Watch Where You Point That Laser (New York Times). September 13, 2010 — The high-powered hand-held laser pointers sold over the Internet can cause serious eye injuries, several physicians warn in a letter in The New England Journal of Medicine.
More Evidence That Vaccines Don't Cause Autism (Healthday). September 13, 2010 — Infants exposed to the highest levels of thimerosal, a mercury-laden preservative that used to be found in many vaccines, were no more likely to develop autism than infants exposed to only a little thimerosal, new research finds.
3-D Printing Spurs a Manufacturing Revolution (New York Times). September 13, 2010 — Businesses in the South Park district of San Francisco generally sell either Web technology or sandwiches and burritos. Bespoke Innovations plans to sell designer body parts.
United States Playing Card Licenses Jeezle Pete's! LLC's Triviathon. September 13, 2010 — Jeezle Pete's! has licensed its game Triviathon to United States Playing Card (USPC) for sale under the Bicycle label. USPC plans to launch a board game category starting with the release of new and existing Triviathon products as soon as 2011, according to a press release.
Smith & Tinker, Marvel Team Up for Social and Mobile Games (GamesBeat). September 13, 2010 — Smith & Tinker, a high-profile game startup, is revealing today it will make a Facebook and Apple iPhone game based on Marvel Entertainment’s superhero characters.
Disney Announces Print Run, Plans for "Percy Jackson" Spinoff (Publishers Weekly). September 13, 2010 — Rick Riordan’s bestselling Percy Jackson and the Olympians series may have ended last year, but the author’s fans have hardly been without options in the meantime.
Artificial "E-skin" May Soon Help Robots "Feel" (PC World). September 12, 2010 — Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley, have developed a new technology that may help robots feel, give the sense of touch back to those with prosthetic limbs, and ultimately help robots do the dishes without breaking them.
Toys R Us Reports Quarterly Loss. September 10, 2010 — Toys R Us Inc. has announced a net second quarter loss of $14 million, compared with a profit of $27 million the previous year. The company, which plans to go public, also reported almost flat sales of $2.6 billion, and an 8.2-percent increase in operating costs. Toys R Us intends to boost spending to about $396 million in 2010 as it remodels current stores and opens new stores, according to a press release.
Zoobies Rolls Out Storytime Collection. September 10, 2010 — Zoobies LLC has launched its Storytime Collection, a range of signature combination blanket, pillow and plush toys that feature classic children's book characters. The line includes Spot, Paddington Bear, Olivia, Mr. Happy, Little Miss Sunshine and Peter Rabbit, according to a press release.
VTech and First Book Will Donate 10,000 Books to Children in Need. September 9, 2010 — VTech has announced a partnership with First Book to donate 10,000 books to children in low-income neighborhoods, in celebration of National Literacy Month. The company will also encourage consumers to donate with its "Buy a Book, Give a Book" campaign, which will launch in winter 2010, according to a press release.
Liam Neeson Joins "Battleship" Cast. September 9, 2010 — Actor Liam Neeson signed on to play Admiral Shane in "Battleship," the Universal Pictures action film based on the Hasbro board game. Neeson will star alongside singer Rihanna, model Brooklyn Decker and actors Taylor Kitsch and Alexander Skarsgard in the Peter Berg-directed film, which is set for a May 2012 release, according to Reuters.
2-Dream Acquires World Rights to The Koogles (License! Global). September 9, 2010 — The Koogles from Emily Garcia, creator of Mife Mouse, has granted 2-Dream worldwide rights, including TV, digital, merchandising and publishing. Think Tank Emporium has been tapped to handle the North American market.
Toys R Us Opens Pop-Up Shops. September 8, 2010 — Toys R Us has announced plans to open 600 temporary "Express" stores in shopping centers around the U.S. The toy store opened 90 similar shops for the 2009 holiday season. 300 Toys R Us "Express" stores have opened since the program's June launch, and the remaining 300 will open by November. Most will close in January, but some could become permanent outlet stores, according to the Associated Press.
Step2 Company Recalls Sand & Water Transportation Station Toys. September 8, 2010 — The Consumer Product Safety Commission and Step2 Company have announced a voluntary recall of about 56,000 Sand & Water Transportation Station Toys due to a choking hazard. The light blue plastic wheels on the station's train cars can detach. No injuries have been reported. For more information, visit www.step2.com.
Hasbro Launches Trivial Pursuit YouTube Challenge. September 8, 2010 — YouTube and Hasbro have teamed up for an online challenge in which the YouTube visitors can compete against YouTube "stars" in a Trivial Pursuit tournament. The contest, which starts September 8, will feature internet sensations including Tay Zonday and "The Numa Numa Kid" Gary Brolsma, according to a press release.
The World's Rarest Barbie by Stefano Canturi (Luxist). September 8, 2010 — This Friday night for Fashion's Night Out, Canturi Jewels will unveil the "World's Rarest Barbie." This Barbie was meticulously designed, from her hair and makeup to her frame, dress and shoes, by Stefano Canturi himself.
Booster Seat Safety Has Improved, Says Insurance Institute. September 8, 2010 — Car booster seats have made significant safety gains, according to an insurance industry evaluation released Wednesday. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave its top "best bet" award to 30 percent of the booster seats it reviewed for properly restraining children, compared with only 15 percent in its 2009 evaluation. Harmony Juvenile Products earned the highest marks with five "best bet" booster seats, followed by Dorel Juvenile Group with five "best bet" or "good bet" seats, according to the Associated Press.
GreenLight Raises Growth Equity. September 8, 2010 — GreenLight LLC has announced that it has received a significant equity investment from a group of individual investors. Proceeds will be used in the development of new products and in Greenlight's expansion into licensed die-cast products, according to a press release.
HarperCollins Acquires World Rights to Meerkat Madness (License! Global). September 8, 2010 — HarperCollins Children's Books has acquired the world rights, including TV, film and merchandising, for publishing property "Meerkat Madness" by Ian Whybrow.
National Geographic MAPS Exhibit Opens at Strong Museum of Play. September 7, 2010 — The National Geographic Society's international traveling exhibit, "MAPS: Tools for Adventure", will open at the Strong Museum of Play on October 2. The exhibit will include interactive displays allowing children to simulate piloting Amelia Earhart's plane, search for life on Mars and explore the Egyptian Pyramids, among other activities. The exhibit is scheduled to run through January 9, 2011, according to a press release.
Webkinz Wheels Turn Slowly. September 7, 2010 — TDmonthly recently revisited some of the specialty retail stores that are suing or have sued Ganz, makers of Webkinz. The following table summarizes the status of the cases. Although two suits have been resolved, various anti-trust actions from around the nation were subsumed into a single class-action suit that is being heard in California. This case is currently awaiting judgment on Ganz's Motion to Dismiss:
| Lawsuits Filed Against Ganz
|During the Webkinz fever, specialty retailers expressed strongly and often to TDmonthly that once the fad had died down, they would cease business with their maker, Ganz, and might even sue the company for unfair sales practices. As of September 2010, these are the cases known by TDmonthly that have been filed by specialty toy-store owners against the company.
||Cause for Action
|Nuts for Candy (Calif.); Comstock et al. (The Cheshire Cat and The Spotted Crocodile) (Ill.); Cortes Country Stores, Inc. d/b/a Freetown Trading Post (Mass.); The Phipps Corporation, d/b/a/ School crossing, Inc. (Va.); Freedom Candle Company (Conn.); Forget Me NOt Keepsakes & Crafts, Inc. (NY); Widensky's Clothing Boutique (Fla.);
||United States District Court, Northern District of California. Original Filing by Nuts for Candy, June 9, 2008.
||Alleged violations of Section 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1 and Sections 1 and 3 of the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. § 14 and various states’ unfair trade practices acts.
||$5,000,000.00 - class action suit
||Pending, as of 9/7/10
|Station Enterprises, Inc.
||District Court of the Eastern District of Michigan on October 10, 2007
||Breach of Contract
||$75,000.00 plus costs and legal fees
||Resolved, as of 9/30/09
|Shopping Therapy/Collector's Club
||District Court in Oklahoma County, Okla., on September 5, 2007
||Case Dismissed at Plaintiff's Request/Settled 1/03/08
Fat Brain Toy Opens Voting for 2010 Fat Brain Toy Awards. September 7, 2010 — Fat Brain Toy has selected the finalists for its Third Annual Fat Brain Toy Awards. Public votes for the final winners will be accepted online until November 2, 2010, according to a press release.
Claire's Debuts GLEE Accessories Collection. September 7, 2010 — Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products and Claire’s have announced the launch of a jewelry and accessories line based on the Fox series "GLEE." Three branded pop-up shops launched Friday, with a nationwide launch scheduled for September 9th. In honor of the partnership, Claire’s will transform the "L" in its logo to resemble the iconic index finger and thumb pose featured in the "GLEE" logo, according to a press release.
NBC Plans "Kung Fu Panda" 3-D Special. September 7, 2010 — NBC will air a 3-D holiday special based on the animated film "Kung Fu Panda" in December 2010. The network has partnered with original studio Dreamworks to produce the special, according to the Press Association.
Disney Leads Summer Box Office Overseas (The Hollywood Reporter). September 7, 2010 — Foreign box office was hurtling along at a record pace for the year's first half but took a bit of a holiday during the summer ... Still, distributors remain on track to log another record year on the foreign theatrical circuit. All except Sony are logging year-over-year foreign box-office increases from January-August.
Strong Museum Issues Call for Whimsical Art Trail Submissions. September 7, 2010 — The Strong National Museum of Play has announced an open call for artists to showcase "playful and whimsical" multi-dimensional work in its Whimsical Art Trail display, which will launch February 19, 2011. Artists can submit their work for consideration at www.museumofplay.org, according to a press release.
Taking the 'Book' Out of Bookstores (Publishers Weekly). September 6, 2010 — With sales of trade titles down, chains expand nonbook offerings.
In Feast of Data on BPA Plastic, No Final Answer (New York Times). September 6, 2010 — The research has been going on for more than 10 years. Studies number in the hundreds. Millions of dollars have been spent. But government health officials still cannot decide whether the chemical bisphenol-A, or BPA, a component of some plastics, is safe.
petitePARADE Hosts Spring 2011 Kids' Fashion Week. September 3, 2010 — petitePARADE will launch the first children's fashion week on September 10th and 11th during New York's Spring 2011 Fashion Week. The runway showcase will be held at the Metropolitan Pavilion and will feature collections from designers including Roberto Cavalli, Sonia Rykiel and Monnalisa. The event will also feature a Plaworkgroup Edun organic t-shirt workshop and installations from Not Rational and Unoemezzo Tea. Show sponsors include New Grass, Jana Water, Fisher-Price, Hiho Batik and Giggle, according to a press release.
Mattel Files Suit Accusing MGA of Hiding Assets. September 3, 2010 — Mattel Inc. has filed a lawsuit alleging that MGA Entertainment transferred hundreds of millions of dollars to defraud creditors, according to the Associated Press. The suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, claims that MGA transferred $430 million in assets to its chief executive Isaac Larian and other parties to prevent creditors, including Mattel, from collecting funds.
CPSC Issues Children’s Vehicle Testing Notice. September 3, 2010 — The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a notice explaining the criteria and process for third-party testing of children’s all-terrain vehicles. Assessment bodies can find the regulations at the CPSC website.
Contest asks you to animate William Shatner (Kidscreen). September 3, 2010 — William Shatner is about to get a little more animated. Montreal,Canada-based animation software maker Toon Boom Animation has launched the Myouterspace Contest, hosted by the Shat himself.
TIA Opens Submissions Call for 2011 TOTY Awards. September 1, 2010 — The Toy Industry Association (TIA) has opened the submissions process for its 2011 Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards. Toy companies and retailers can submit products in 11 categories between September 1 and October 15, 2010, according to the TIA website.
The Juno Company Introduces Juno Jr. Line, Hosts Events at FAO Schwartz. September 3, 2010 — The Juno Company, creators of the Emmy Award-winning Juno Baby line, has launched Juno Jr., a range of preschool DVDs, CDs, plush, books and apparel. Juno products are available at on New York’s FAO Schwartz Fifth Avenue, where the company will host a series of events in September. The events, held each Saturday from September 4 to September 25, will feature puppet shows and meet-and-greets with Juno costumed characters, according to a press release.
U.S. Retail Sales Up in August (License! Global). September 3, 2010 — Same-store retail sales for August were up 3.4 percent compared to a decline of 2.4 percent for August 2009, according to Kantar Retail. Last month's sales topped July's increase of 2.9 percent.
CPSC Finds No Connection Between Dry Max Diapers and Rashes. September 2, 2010 — The Consumer Product Safety Commission has found no link between Pampers Dry Max Diapers and the severe diaper rashes reported by parents’ groups. The group announced Thursday that after reviewing 4,700 complaints, it located no specific cause linking the product to the skin reactions, according to the Associated Press.
Handstand Kids to Attend Los Angeles Times Food and Wine Festival. September 2, 2010 — Handstand Kids Cookbook Company will showcase its products at Booth 430 at the Los Angeles Times Food and Wine Festival on Sunday, September 5. The all-day festival will feature chef demonstrations, book signings, panel discussions, food trucks and other attractions, according to a press release. Tickets and more information are available at http://events.latimes.com/foodandwine/.
The School That Gives Kids Their Own iPads (Forbes). September 2, 2010 — No more pencils, no more books, no more clunky desktop PCs or laptops either. Instead, a private school in Scotland has given sleek new iPads to every single one of its pupils to use in class and to even take home, nixing the excuse that the dog ate their homework.
Universal Monsters Stalk The Toy Aisles Once More (Dread Central). September 2, 2010 — This October, the Universal Monsters return to the pegs of a toy store near you, courtesy of Diamond Select Toys.
UPS Store Announces Children's Literacy Award Finalists. September 1, 2010 — The UPS Store, in cooperation with the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, Scholastic Inc. and the National Center for Family Literacy, has revealed the peer-nominated finalists for the 2010 Alferd Williams Literacy Award. The finalists for the honor, which celebrates childhood literacy advocates, are Kirsten Bremer of Michigan, KK Cherney of Florida, Margaret King of New York, Greg Ruiz of California and Marla Standage of Missouri. The public may vote online at www.scholastic.com/literacyaward, and the finalist with the most public votes will be given an advantage at the final panel judging. The winner will be announced November 1, 2010, according to a press release.
Child’s Ordeal Shows Risks of Psychosis Drugs for Young (New York Times). September 1, 2010 — At 18 months, Kyle started taking a daily antipsychotic drug on the orders of a pediatrician trying to quell the boy’s severe temper tantrums.Thus began a troubled toddler’s journey from one doctor to another, from one diagnosis to another, involving even more drugs.
American Girl Retires Felicity Merriman Doll. September 1, 2010 — American Girl LLC has announced plans to cease production of Felicity Merriman, a colonial-era character doll introduced in 1991. The Felicity collection, which includes the doll of her friend Elizabeth, will be retired and placed in the American Girl Archives. The Felicity books will still be sold in retail stores and on AmericanGirl.com, according to a press release.
Stones Roll Dice With Monopoly Edition (Marketing). August 31, 2010 — Legendary rockers the Rolling Stones have extended the bands' brand presence by teaming with toy manufacturer Hasbro for a special Monopoly edition.
CPSC Makes Electronic Recall Data Available to Businesses and Software Developers. August 31, 2010 — The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) will offer product safety and recall information from 1973 to the present to businesses and developers in an electronic data set. The data, available through an Application Program Interface and formatted in XML, will also come with a function that allows online retailers to automatically flag or remove recalled products quickly after a recall is announced, according to a press release.
TIF Teams With Kids in Distressed Situations (K.I.D.S.) for Toy Bank. August 31, 2010 — The Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) has partnered with with Kids In Distressed Situations (K.I.D.S.) in support of the TIF Toy Bank program, which collects about $5 million worth of toys for in-need children each year. The New York nonprofit will assume Toy Bank responsibilities starting September 1, taking on a role previously held by Gifts in Kind International Inc., according to a press release.
U.S. Pediatricians Decry Media's Portrayal of Sex (HealthDay News). August 31, 2010 — The nation's leading group of pediatricians has issued a strong policy statement directed toward pediatricians, parents and the media on the danger of messages American teens and children are getting about sex from television, the Internet and other media outlets.
Strawberry Shortcake Sweetens Childhood Cancer Awareness Campaign (Kidscreen). August 31, 2010 — Strawberry Shortcake is collaborating with Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) to help raise national awareness and support fundraising efforts in the fight against childhood cancer.
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