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February 2021 | Vol. XX - No. 2


Toys in the News 02/01/2021

Toys R Us retrenches, shutters last 2 U.S. stores since comeback attempt (02/01/2021)

The moves come as physical stores, particularly mall-based locations, have been hurt by weak customer traffic amid the pandemic. The Toys R Us store at the Galleria mall in Houston shuttered on Jan. 15, while one at the Garden State Plaza in Paramus, New Jersey, closed on Tuesday, according to Tru Kids, a new entity formed when it acquired Toys R Us’ intellectual property during its liquidation in 2018. 


Should Disney Acquire Roku Or Spotify In 2021? (02/01/2021)

Roku has focused on TV and film for its streaming services, while Spotify is predominantly music and podcasts. Given that Disney produces content predominantly in the realm of TV and film, respondents believe Disney would be better served moving forward with acquiring Roku. 

Toys Market to Reach USD 212.49 Billion by 2027; Product Innovation by Lego System A/S and Nintendo Co. Ltd. to Create promising Growth Opportunities, Says Fortune Business Insights™ (02/01/2021)

The lockdown is turning out to be favorable for several toy manufacturers as they are registering significant sales. To enable entertainment of the kids confined at their home spaces, parents are buying play products through offline and online platforms. Therefore, based on this analysis, the market is likely to exhibit an impressive CAGR of 22.30% in 2020. 

More Than Fun and Games: The Brain Science Behind Fidget Toys and Dementia (02/01/2021)

An upcoming UC Davis MIND Institute and UC Santa Cruz study will chart the effectiveness of fidget toys in adults with ADHD in hopes of finding scientific evidence that these toys help people more effectively focus, but even now, there is already great anecdotal evidence and preliminary studies to prove the positive impact these toys have on brain function, when used with intentionality. 

Have a kid dealing with big emotions? Pop into a children's book reading for help (02/01/2021)

If you have kids who are trying to understand their feelings better, you can help them do that through story time all week. The first week of February is Children's Mental Health Awareness week. This year's theme for NAMI Minnesota is "Express Yourself."  The mental health organization is featuring local celebrities reading children's books on topics relating to mental health and managing big emotions. 

Why Fortnite and GI Joe make a more natural crossover, albeit with some weirdness (02/01/2021)

Unlike previous crossovers, GI Joe and Fortnite have a lot of similarities in their styles, and both feature a marketing strategy that pushes for a high degree of recognizability and market presence. In line with this crossover, Hasbro has even made its own Fortnite themed GI Joe action figure that plays heavily into both brands' strategies. 


The Fascinating Story of Toy Giant Hasbro and Its Incredible Leader (02/01/2021)

The history of the company that brought us G.I. Joe, Transformers, My Little Pony, and of course Mr. Potato Head is a testament to an America fueled by immigrants. Driven from Europe as teenagers during the first World War, brothers Henry and Hillel Hassenfeld came to the U.S. fleeing societal unrest, unmitigated hatred, and pogroms which slaughtered thousands of Jews. 

The best Lego sets 2021: the best new builds, from Star Wars to Super Mario (02/01/2021)

Whatever kind of Lego you're looking for, there's a huge variety available right now, for all ages and ability levels, ranging from famous buildings to pop culture tie-ins. But some Lego sets are better than others, so in this article you will find the very best on the market right now for you to choose from. 


A thousand years ago, back in 2019, a regional councilor in the Netherlands named Marcel Steeman undertook a seemingly impossible challenge: convince the makers of one of the most popular toys in the world to do something a little different. He wanted Lego, the toy production company based in Billund, Denmark, to add bike lanes to their tiny, brick-made cities, and now it’s finally happening. 

Official Book Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World to Release This Fall, Preorder Available Now (01/31/2021)

This book, written by Kevin M. Kern, Tim O’Day, and Steven Vagnin, is described as a “must-have” as it “paints a robust portrait of the Walt Disney World Resort, across half a century, through diverse and vibrant voices and mostly unseen Disney theme park concept art and photographs.” 

25 Surprising And Very Random Disney Facts You Might Not Know (01/31/2021)

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Mickey Mouse, Cinderella, Pinoccio, Sleeping Beauty, The Haunted Mansion, and many more. Here are 25 surprising facts about your most beloved Disney releases that will surely have your eyes pop. 

TOP 10 BEST SET FOR BABY BONGOS 2021 (01/31/2021)

Baby Bongo will encourage children to move or dance to the music! They train their sense of rhythm and gross motor skills. On that note, here’s a rounded up list of the best set for baby bongos for 2021 that your children will love. Detailed descriptions are available. 

Westerville's We Love the Earth, Kids Environmental Club repurposes items for cause (01/29/2021)

Westerville South High School freshman Moira Hogan loves the earth, so she started a club to raise awareness about environmental issues and take action. Moira, 15, founded “We Love the Earth, Kids Environmental Club” when she was a student at Blendon Middle School about a year and a half ago. After reading and talking to others about the environment online, she said, she discovered a lot of youths care about the future of the planet. 

Hasbro Reveals Retro Star Wars Figures for Lucasfilm's 50th Anniversary (01/29/2021)

IGN can exclusively reveal the first three figures in this Star Wars: The Black Series - Lucasfilm 50th Anniversary collection, which feature retro-flavored takes on Obi-Wan Kenobi, Greedo and a Jawa. These figures feature the larger and more detailed sculpts of the Black Series line, but the paint decos and soft goods elements like Obi-Wan's vinyl cloak are clear throwbacks to the Kenner era. The packaging will also call back to the original Kenner releases. 


Disney Revamp Of Jungle Cruise Ride Removes Racist Depictions Of Indigenous People (01/29/2021)

After years of pressure, Disney is getting rid of its racist depictions of Indigenous people in the Jungle Cruise ride at its two theme parks in Florida and California. Disney's popular longtime ride Jungle Cruise is getting a makeover at Disney World and Disneyland. The ride's negative depictions of Indigenous people will be removed as part of a national reckoning on race and reconciliation. 


Hasbro Marvel Legends Retro Series 1 Single Figures Emerge (01/29/2021)

Following a limited series of two-packs last holiday season, Hasbro will unleash the first wave of single-carded Marvel Legends Retro figures in March. Set to hit Target first, and other outlets a month later, these 3-3/4 inch figures mimic Kenner lines of old. If Kenner had made Marvel toys at the same time as vintage Star Wars, how would they come out? With bright colors and stylish comic-based packaging, clearly. 



Mattel and Hasbro made the list as part of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index (CEI), the annual national benchmarking tool on corporate policies, practices, and benefits pertinent to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer employees. Other honorable mentions in toy-adjacent businesses include Activision, Amazon, GameStop, Target, ViacomCBS, Walmart, and The Walt Disney Co. 

New Lego Creator Set Includes Two Classic Porsche 911s for the Price of One (01/28/2021)

Lego just might have the perfect Band-Aid for that 911-sized hole in your driveway. Well, maybe not your driveway, but this new set is sure to zhuzh up your standing desk, at least. As part of Porsche's ongoing partnership with the Danish toy company, its latest collab sees the brickification of the impact bumper Porsche 911 from the 1980s. 



LaRose Industries LLC — better known as Cra-Z-Art —acquired Mattel’s arts, crafts, and stationery (AST) business. The deal, which includes the RoseArt and Rose Moon brands, reunites the family business under one roof and the leadership of Lawrence Rosen. With the acquisition of Mattel’s AST business, Cra-Z-Art will now be the home to products including the USA Gold and USA Titanium Pencils and Scribble Stuff, which will anchor the company’s new writing division. 

Barbie Named 2020 Top Global Toy Property of the Year, Per NPD (01/27/2021)

Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAT) today announced that its iconic Barbie® brand has been named the 2020 top global toy property of the year by the NPD Group, a leading global information company. Barbie has created new and compelling ways of engaging consumers through new product innovation, cultural relevance, digital dialog, and the celebration of female role models. In 2020 the brand also honored frontline healthcare workers and furthered its mission to inspire the limitless potential in every girl through the Barbie Dream Gap Project initiative. 

Barbie adds more diverse dolls, including Ken in a wheelchair (01/27/2021)

It's been six years since Barbie released its line of Fashionistas, a collection of male and female dolls who have a variety of different skin tones, body types, eye and hair colors. In 2020, Mattel added even more unique features to the line, like Barbie dolls who use wheelchairs or prosthetic limbs, have vitiligo and more. 


Moose Toys Secures Toy Rights to Silvergate Media's Hit IP Octonauts (01/26/2021)

Moose Toys, an innovative leader in the toy industry, is launching a brand-new Octonauts toy line in partnership with Silvergate Media. The collection will support the popular preschool animated TV property and the upcoming release of its highly anticipated new spinoff show, Octonauts: Above & Beyond. 

Watch DC Heroes Teach STEM Subjects in DC's Flash Facts Trailer (01/22/2021)

Between Marvel and DC’s own film project, superheroes are saturating pop culture more than ever before. Not only are costumed crime fighters dominating the silver screen, they also have starring roles in TV shows, books, cartoons, and even advertisements around the world. Pretty soon DC's lineup of classic superheroes will have one more heroic duty on top of everything else: teaching school kids. 



As Beymasters get ready for season five of Beyblade Burst Surge, Hasbro reveals its new Beyblade Burst Speedstorm toy line. The collection will include official Beyblade Burst Speedstorm tops that are designed to get the ultimate speed boost from the Power Vortex — an energy zone at the center of the Speedstorm Beystadium. The Power Vortex has the ability to pull tops in and spit them out with an extra burst of energy. 


Writer's Bio: A trilingual Translator & Interpreter who graduated from Notre Dame University in 2018, with a primary focus on various interdisciplinary practices. Stemming from my deep fondness for literature and psychology, my writing journey began 14 years ago and remains the beating heart at the very core of my career. Read more articles by this author


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