January 7, 2021
Nominations Are Now Open for the 17th Annual Wonder Women Awards

During the yearly event, Women in Toys, Licensing, and Entertainment (WIT) honors top female executives, thought leaders, entrepreneurs, and others who have extraordinary accomplishments in the toy, licensing, and entertainment industries. Read more…
Rubik’s Cube Scores Movie, TV Deals with Hyde Park Entertainment, Endeavor Content

The iconic Rubik’s Cube is coming off of its 40th anniversary with a big start to 2021. Rubik’s Brand partnered with Hyde Park Entertainment Group and Endeavor Content to create a feature film inspired by the Rubik’s Cube. Additionally, Hyde Park tapped Glassman Media to develop a Rubik’s Cube-themed game show. Spin Master’s deal to acquire Rubik’s for approximately $50 million closed earlier this week. Read more…
American Girl Introduces 2021 Girl of the Year Kira Bailey

Kira Bailey is described as “a nurturing and inquisitive 10-year-old who cares deeply for animals and the environment.” In a two-book series from author Erin Teagan, kids can follow Kira’s adventures as she travels from her home state of Michigan to spend summer abroad at her great-aunts’ Mamie and Lynette’s wildlife sanctuary and vet clinic in Queensland, Australia. Read more…
ChizComm Inks a Sweet Deal with Bazooka Candy Brands

The growing company — recently acquired by Genius Brands International — will serve as the PR agency of record for Bazooka Candy Brands, a division of The Topps Co. Under the new agreement, ChizComm will take the lead to boost iconic candy brands, including Ring Pop, Push Pop, Baby Bottle Pop, Juicy Drop, Totally Awesome, and Joe Bazooka’s personal favorite: Bazooka gum. Read more…
Kids in Need Foundation Gets a 2021 Boost from hand2mind

Award-winning educational resource company hand2mind is kicking off the new year by continuing its tradition of giving. The company recently donated $650,000 in hands-on resources to the Kids in Need Foundation, an organization that provides free school supplies to teachers and students to ensure every child is prepared to learn and succeed. Read more…
Easter Squishmallows Are Hopping into Stores

Yes, it’s only January, but Easter Squishmallows are hopping into stores now. Kellytoy — a subsidiary of Jazwares — officially revealed the Easter additions to the popular plush toy line. There are nine new editions, including three Easter egg styles, a chick, a cow, and more spring-themed takes on classic Squishmallows characters. Read more…
Hasbro Looks to Spring with NERF, Super Soaker DinoSquad Range

A blanket of cold is sweeping the U.S. right now, but Hasbro is looking ahead toward spring with its latest product launch. DinoSquad is a new extension of the NERF brand with a variety of foam dart blasters and Super Soakers that kids can add to the arsenal for backyard battle. The colorful new range is inspired by kid-favorite dinosaurs, including the Tyrannosaurus Rex, Dilophosaurus, Stegosaurus, and Triceratops. Read more…
Funko to Reveal 2021 Products During 2-week Virtual Funko Fair Event

With Toy Fair New York postponed, Funko will debut Funko Fair, a 2-week event that kicks off on Jan. 19. The virtual programming will provide a first look at Funko’s 2021 product lineup, featuring reveals from its Vinyl, SODA, and Paka Paka lines, as well as new items from Funko Games and Loungefly. A variety of licensing partners are set to join in, too, including DC, The Pokémon Co. International, NBCUniversal, and Five Nights at Freddy’s. There will also be specific days of Funko Fair dedicated to Disney, Marvel, and Star Wars products. Read more…
Masters of the Universe Hot Wheels Character Cars Bring Eternian Style to the Die-cast Aisle

The battle for Eternia is rolling into the die-cast aisle. Following years of success with Hot Wheels Character Cars inspired by Star Wars, Marvel, DC Comics, Disney, and more, Mattel is tapping into its own intellectual property (IP) for a new range inspired by the Masters of the Universe franchise. Read more…
Kids Can Learn While They Build with New LEGO Education Sets

LEGO Education is launching two new classroom sets designed to help students experiment with forces, motion, and engineering with science– and sports-themed builds. The new kits are the LEGO Education BricQ Motion Essential set LEGO Education BricQ Motion Prime set. Read more...
PMI’s Omer Dekel Talks International Toy Distribution on the “Power Kid Podcast”

The “Power Kid Podcast” is back for another year with host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design lining up conversations with some of the biggest names and rising stars in the toy, game, and family entertainment industries. On the first show of the new year, Albritton welcomes Omer Dekel, vice president of international sales at PMI Ltd. Based in Tel Aviv, the family-owned company is Israel’s leader in manufacturing, marketing, and distributing licensed leisure products for kids, including toys, collectibles, publishing, back-to-school items, and more.

The Toy Book Podcasts by Adventure Media & Events are available through all of your favorite streaming services, including Anchor, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and more. Listen here...
Realistic Robo Fish Are Swimming Back to Stores

Guess who’s back? Back again? ZURU’s Robo Fish is back! Tell a friend! First released in 2012, the realistic toy fish is returning to retail this month with the ability to swim in five different directions and dive more than six feet. Robo Fish is part of ZURU’s Robo Alive collection of robotic pets, mimicking the movement of a live fish. Read more…
ToyFest West Set to Resume in February 2022

After postponing ToyFest West’s 2021 dates, the Western Toy & Hobby Representatives Association (WTHRA) recently reevaluated this move, reaching the ultimate decision to cancel ToyFest West 2021 and resume in February 2022. WTHRA President Lawrence Nissen announced this decision while crediting ToyFest West’s legacy and ability to adapt to changing times. Read more…
“The Playground Podcast” Looks Back at 2020, Where the Toy Industry Is Headed in 2021

On a special two-part edition of “The Playground Podcast,” Toy Book Senior Editor James Zahn and Toy World Publisher John Baulch joined hosts Richard Gottlieb of Global Toy Experts and “The Toy Guy” Chris Byrne to wrap up 2020 and look ahead into 2021 with insights from the U.S. and the UK. Read more…
Get a Sneak Peek at Diamond Select Toys’ Summer Launches

Diamond Select Toys and Gentle Giant Ltd. released a sneak peek of their summer launches, which are available to preorder now. Retailers and fans can find collectibles from Avatar: The Last Airbender (ATLA), Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Godzilla, Invincible, Marvel, and Star Wars in the lineup. Read more…
The Most Toys Debuts MOFOS 4-inch Collectible Action Figure Line

A new collection of action figures from The Most Toys is blasting its way into the market this month with sights firmly targeting collector’s shelves. The 4-inch scale M.O.F.O.S: Men of Felonious Occupations (MOFOS) are a collection of “fully articulated plastic assassins” designed for ages 15 and up. The line launch is accompanied by a comic book featuring interior art by JB Roe with a cover by Ian Ameling. Read more…
Jazwares’ First Act Brand Gets a Rhythmic Reimagining for the New Year

For the past 20 years, First Act has gone through many transformations, but with the recent transition to remote learning for most kids, it seemed time for another — this time with an anthem to sing along to. Read more…
Games Top the Charts as Amazon Reveals Record-breaking Holiday Season

Amazon is celebrating a record-breaking holiday season in which the e-commerce giant delivered more than 1.5 billion toys, home products, beauty and personal care products, and electronics to families around the world. Amazon’s continued growth into entertainment and tech helped to power holiday experiences as more families than ever gathered at home. Read more…
Auto World, Kidracer Founder Oscar Koveleski Dies at 88

In 1958, Koveleski — a race car driver and scale model enthusiast — launched Auto World as a mail-order store from the basement of a home in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The operation, which initially placed ads in the back of magazines, became a popular catalog business and pioneered the hobby and specialty retail space through its extensive offerings of slot-racing cars and track sets, plastic model kits, R/C cars, building supplies, and other items from brands including TYCO, Aurora, Scalextric, and more. Read more…
 
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