October 29, 2020
The Toy Association Unveils 2021 Toy of the Year Awards Finalists

They’re often considered to be the Oscars of the toy industry, and on Friday, Feb. 12, the next Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards will be distributed virtually. The special online presentation will take place due to Toy Fair New York being pushed into May thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Industry experts determined this year's finalists in 16 categories. One winner in each category, along with the consumer-chosen People’s Choice Award and the overall Toy of the Year Award, will be presented in February. See the finalists...

Additionally, The Toy Association revealed the dates for Toy Fair New York 2022, the first Toy Fair to be held in the newly expanded Javtis Center.
Jazwares Named Master Toy Partner for The Smurfs Brand

Jazwares is headed for Smurf Village. International Merchandising Promotions & Services (IMPS) appointed the company as the new global master toy partner for the classic Belgian franchise The Smurfs. Read more…

In addition, Kellytoy, a subsidiary of Jazwares, is introducing Squish-Doos as the latest addition to the Squishmallows family, featuring some seriously wacky hairdos that we’ve never seen before. Read more…
Spin Master to Acquire Rubik’s Brand, Owner of the Iconic Rubik’s Cube

The 40th anniversary of Rubik’s Cube will come to a close with the start of a new era for the iconic toy. Toronto-based Spin Master Corp. inked a deal to acquire London-based Rubik’s Brand Ltd., owner of the Rubik’s Cube and its related assets. The deal is expected to close on Jan. 4, 2021, marking the 22nd acquisition since Spin Master was founded in 1994. Read more…
Exclusive: Boglins, the Creepy ’80s Icons, Return to Toy Aisles Next Year

Originally released by Mattel, Boglins have amassed a cult following over the past 30 years, and next year, kids and collectors can welcome some new characters and reinvented favorites into the fold. Boglins co-creator Tim Clarke, licensor 7 Towns, and Mark Freedman of Surge Licensing have inked a deal with Chris Cofoni’s TriAction Toys to relaunch the line in all of its original glory. Read more…
Hasbro Unleashes a Full Bounty of Star Wars Toys to Launch Mando Mondays

The Walt Disney Co. and Lucasfilm kicked off the nine-week Mando Mondays event with the official reveal of dozens of new toys, games, collectibles, and consumer products tied to the second season of Star Wars: The Mandalorian, which debuts tomorrow on Disney+. While numerous licensees were in the mix, in terms of quantity and variety, Hasbro led the charge with new action figures across multiple lines. Read more…

Additionally, Hasbro launched Play-Doh Grown Up Scents, its first Play-Doh range marketed to adults.
Toys “R” Us Relaunches Geoffrey’s Hot Toy List

Following a two-year absence, Geoffrey’s Hot Toy List is back. Tru Kids Brands — parent of the Toys “R” Us brand — relaunched Geoffrey’s Hot Toy List for the 2020 holiday season. The curated list from the Toys “R” Us team includes 20 of the year’s hottest toys. Read more…
PlayMonster’s 5 Second Rule Celebrates 10th Anniversary with Exclusive Edition, Holiday Giveaway

To celebrate its 10 year anniversary, PlayMonster will release an exclusive anniversary edition of 5 Second Rule and team up with Ellen DeGeneres for a holiday giveaway. The new anniversary edition of the party game will feature 50 new cards relevant to the last decade with new prompts such as “Name Three Streaming Services” or “Name Three Social Challenges.” Read more…
Mattel Playroom Transforms into a Holiday Hub for Parents and Caregivers

In March, Mattel launched the Mattel Playroom as a free online destination offering parents and caregivers activities and content from the company’s portfolio of brands, along with play-from-home information and tips. Today, the site relaunches as a holiday hub with seasonal content and play starters. Read more...

Additionally, Mattel is following the success of its 11-inch plush version of The Child (aka Baby Yoda) from Star Wars: The Mandalorian with a new version that’s even more lifelike. The company also partnered with Raycom-Legacy Content Co. for a new live event, the 
Shaq Plugs Classic Play in New Tonka Truck Commercial

Despite the everyday distractions of technology, classic play isn’t going anywhere — and Shaquille O’Neal is going to make sure of that. In Basic Fun!’s new Tonka commercial, Shaq hits the sandbox and gets nostalgic about how kids used to play more outside. A kid-sized Shaq thinks back on his childhood days getting creative and “Tonka tough” on the playground with his classic toy trucks. Read more…

Additionally, Shaq inked a deal with Genius Brands to topline a new animated series, Shaq’s Garage.
Funrise Toys Debuts Fix-It Phillip & More Cat Junior Crew Toys

Funrise Toys is dishing out all the fixins for the holiday season with new Cat Junior Crew toys for preschoolers that combine construction play with learning. The lineup features five new products, including Fix-It Phillip, a 12-inch vehicle that helps kids develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Read more...
New Wave Toys Introduces Asteroids Replicade Cabinet

The idea of an in-home arcade may seem expensive (and heavy), but New Wave Toys‘ latest mini arcade offering may be the perfect solution. The newest addition to the company’s line of RepliCade 1:6-scale arcade cabinets is a fully functional, miniature version of Asteroids, just in time for the game’s 40th anniversary. Read more...
Spielwarenmesse Summer Edition Dates Set for July 2021

Following the postponement of the annual international toy fair due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Spielwarenmesse 2021 Summer Edition will take place July 20-24 at the Exhibition Centre in Nuremberg, Germany. The move marks the first time in history that the show has moved from its traditional spot on the cusp of January and February. Read more…
Shannon Gale Talks JumpStart Games on the ‘Power Kid Podcast’

In this week’s episode of the “Power Kid Podcast,” host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design speaks with Shannon Gale, director and brand manager of JumpStart Games (formerly JumpStart Academy) for a discussion about remote learning for kids in elementary school during the COVID-19 pandemic. Listen here...

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Klutz Introduces 10 New Book-Based Activity Kits for Fall

Klutz, a division of Scholastic, launched its fall lineup, which includes 10 book-based activity kits designed for kids ages 4 and up. The sets range from craft jewelry kits to STEM-based learning activities. Each one is designed to teach valuable skills like creative confidence. Read more…
Cloudberries’ First-of-its-kind Puzzle was Crowdsourced in Less Than Two Hours

The final piece of a history-making puzzle is almost in place. Cloudberries, a UK-based puzzle company, invited puzzlers worldwide to work together to add their own flair to a puzzle — which was then completed in less than two hours. The goal was to test out the concept of “wisdom of the crowd,” a theory that people can work together even if they have no idea what others are doing. Read more…
Diamond Select Toys Introduces Star Wars Select Action Figure Range

Following a few weeks of leaks on social media, a new line of Star Wars action figures has been officially revealed. Diamond Select Toys launched its Star Wars Select series of 7-inch scale action figures exclusively at shopDisney, Disney Store, and Disney Parks locations. The new range features premium deco and 16 points of articulation. In terms of scale, the new collection is compatible with Diamond’s long-running Marvel Select range. Read more…
Sam’s Club Debuts Shoppable Virtual Experience Based on National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

It was 1989 when Clark W. Griswold (Chevy Chase) famously took a ride on high-speed sled that ended in a Walmart parking lot in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Later, Clark and Cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid) shopped the store, complete with a purchase of Sam Walton’s Ol’ Roy dog food. Now, 31 years later, Sam’s Club is getting in on the Griswold family action. Read more…
Talkin’ Toys: PMI International Brings its Licensed Toys to the U.S.

Over the past several years, PMI International has steadily built a large portfolio of toys and collectibles based on some of the world’s top entertainment brands. 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. Following international success, PMI is targeting the U.S. market with a new distribution model and a fresh lineup of products featuring top licenses, including new deals for two of next year’s biggest movies. Read more…
Talkin’ Toys: IMC Toys Embraces the 360-degree Experience

Now more than ever before, it’s crucial to keep up with the ways that kids consume content, and IMC Toys is constantly keeping its pulse on what’s new. The toy company behind Cry Babies and VIP Pets launched the Cry Babies Magic Tears app last month — already amassing more than 350,000 downloads; has 2 billion views and 4 million worldwide subscribers on its Kitoons content network, which is available in more than 15 languages; and a robust social media presence on Tik Tok and Instagram. All of these social and digital elements are tied into its products and brands that are family names in Europe and increasingly popular in North America after launching in the U.S. just over two years ago.
Hasbro Beats Expectations in Q3 as Demand for Toys and Games Grows

Net revenues in the U.S. grew 9% to $977.1 million versus $898.3 million in the same period last year. Net revenues declined 4% to $1.78 billion versus $1.86 billion last year due to the production disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic for the combined Hasbro and Entertainment One (eOne), paired with slow retail reopenings in Latin America, which pulled down the international segment. Read more…
Mattel Crushes Estimates for Pandemic-Fueled Q3 Earnings Boom

The El Segundo-based toymaker reported a sales increase of 13% in North America paired with an 8% increase in international markets. Overall, sales for the quarter rose 10%. Year-to-date sales — which were down 15% in the first six months of the year — made gains and are now down just 2% for the first nine months of the year. Adjusted earnings per share hit $0.95 versus an expected $0.39 amid strong sales and continued cost-cutting measures. Read more…
 
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