March 18, 2021
WHP Global Acquires Controlling Interest in Tru Kids Inc., Toys “R” Us

Another chapter in the Toys “R” Us saga has begun. New York-based brand acquisition and management firm WHP Global acquired a controlling interest in Tru Kids Inc., the parent company of Toys “R” Us, Babies “R” Us, Geoffrey Giraffe, and more than 20 consumer brands. The company plans to open new stores beginning this year. Read more…
Exclusive: PlayMonster Continues Cross-category Expansion with BriteBrush Acquisition

Wisconsin-based PlayMonster LLC has acquired BriteBrush, entering into yet another new category. The jump from the toy department to the oral care aisle follows a year of success for BriteBrush, which was developed and launched by WowWee at Toy Fair New York (TFNY) last year. PlayMonster plans to expand the BriteBrush line of interactive toothbrushes for kids in an effort to continue merging fun with healthy habits. Read more…
Genius Brands, Tankee Bring Roblox to Kartoon Channel!

The ever-expanding world of Roblox is coming to Kartoon Channel! thanks to a new partnership deal between Genius Brands International and Tankee. Production is underway for an all-new, 12-episode Roblox series that will feature top Roblox influencers and will begin streaming on Kartoon Channel! in June. Read more…
Hasbro Just Unleashed Play-Doh All Mixed Up, Because It’s Gonna Happen Anyway

Hasbro is celebrating the 65th anniversary of Play-Doh by skipping to the end that most cans of the famous compound face: they get all mixed up. According to Hasbro, kids’ true colors likely end in muddy grey, and with that in mind, they’re ready to “bring parents face-to-face with their unavoidable, cringeworthy compound truth” with the very first can of pre-mixed Play-Doh Compound. Read more…

Additionally, Hasbro revealed plans for a virtual Hasbro Pulse Fan Fest in April to replace the Entertainment Brands Preview Event that would’ve taken place at Toy Fair New York in Feb.
Asmodee Acquires Plan B Games

The Asmodee Group acquired Plan B Games, a publishing group based in Canada and Germany that includes four publishers: Next Move, Plan B Games, Pretzel Games, and Eggertspiele. Read more…
Funko’s New Seinfeld Game, Collectibles, and Accessories Will Never Be Regifted

Drag out the Festivus pole, Seinfeld fans: Funko is delivering reason to celebrate with tons of new merch inspired by the iconic ‘90s sitcom, including Pop! Vinyl figures, Loungefly fashion items, a game, and a completely new line called Funko Mini Moments. Read more…
DC Superheroes Join Moose Toys’ Heroes of Goo Jit Zu Lineup

Following the successful introduction of Marvel’s Avengers into its lineup, some members of DC’s Justice League have joined Moose Toys‘ Heroes of Goo Jit Zu. Moose collaborated with Warner Bros. Consumer Products and DC to introduce Batman, Superman, and The Flash into the range of squishy, stretchy, uniquely goo-filled toys that kids can pull and stretch to up to three times their original size. Read more…
The Noble Collection Preps ‘E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial’ 40th Anniversary Collection, More Universal Collectibles

In celebration of the 40th anniversary of Amblin Entertainment’s E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial in 2022, The Noble Collection will debut an E.T. commemorative collection — including a Collector Plush — based on the film from director Steven Spielberg. The news comes alongside a new deal that will bring additional NBCUniversal properties into The Noble Collection. Read more…
Mattel Teams up with Pizza Pizza and Pizza to Celebrate UNO in Canada

Canadian families can now order a hot pizza pie with a side order of UNO. Mattel entered into a partnership with Pizza Pizza and Pizza 73 locations across Canada to offer a special UNO Combo featuring a co-branded UNO deck to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the popular card game. Read more…
The Insights People Expands Kids Insights and Parents Insights into the Asia-Pacific Region

Data collection for Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, and South Korea began on Feb. 1 with the first reports expected to be issued in May. Kids Insights and Parents Insights continues its global expansion to provide kids, parents, and family market intelligence to clients including Amazon, BBC, Disney, F1, Kraft, Mattel, T-Mobile, Warner Bros., and more. Read more…
Licensing International Hosts “The Business Case for Sustainability” with Mattel’s Pamela Gill-Alabaster

Today at 12 p.m. ET, Licensing International will host an exclusive virtual event to shine a spotlight on the growing topic of sustainability in the toy industry and beyond. Mattel’s Head of Global Sustainability Pamela Gill-Alabaster will present “The Business Case for Sustainability.” Read more…
Talking Games with Patrick Matthews on the ‘Power Kid Podcast’

In this week’s episode of the “Power Kid Podcast,” host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design welcomes Patrick Matthews, project manager at Triller and president of Live Oak Games. On the show, Albritton and Matthews explore the value and challenges of creating complex, story-based games, and the differences between developing digital and physical games. Listen here...

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MasterPieces, Lumistella Co. Buddy Up for Elf on the Shelf Puzzles and Games

MasterPieces Inc. entered into a new licensing agreement with The Lumistella Co. to deliver some holiday cheer this year. A new line of puzzles and games featuring The Elf on the Shelf will begin hitting stores in time for “Christmas in July.” Read more…
Universal's Jurassic World Joins the Wow! Stuff Lineup

Wow! Stuff inked a deal with Universal Brand Development to create a new line of toys and collectibles inspired by Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment's Jurassic World franchise. The range includes flying toys, plush, and a collection Jurassic World Wow! Pods. Read more…
Dan Dee International Named 2020 Walmart Sustainability Supplier of the Year

Last year, Dan Dee’s efforts kept more than 52 million polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles from making their way into the world’s landfills. By recycling PET bottles into its patented Earthwise fiber, Dan Dee reduced petroleum consumption by more than 1.9 million gallons. Read more…
Make Classrooms More Efficient with a LEGO Education Program for Teachers

Why keep work and play separate? Teachers can bring the world of brick-building fun to classrooms with LEGO Education Professional Development by LEGO Education. This program combines hands-on and research-based STEAM activities that help teachers better adapt to student learning styles, develop effective teaching strategies, and apply their knowledge in classroom settings. Read more…
Moonbug Entertainment, Roshambo Baby Collaborate on Blippi Eyewear Collection

Blippi has already conquered toys and costumes, and now the YouTube star is setting his sights on a new category: eyewear. Roshambo Baby Inc. inked a deal with Moonbug Entertainment to create a full range of glasses inspired by the character. Read more…
Talkin’ Toys: Storypod Co-founder Daniel Buelhoff Describes Creating the Kickstarter Success

The Toy Book chatted with Daniel Buelhoff, co-founder and CEO of Storypod, an audio-based, screenless storytelling toy for kids. Storypod launched on Kickstarter last summer, ultimately raising more than $240,000 for the project. The toy officially went on sale this month. Read more…
Addicted to Nostalgia: Retro Toys Make a Comeback in Legacy Brand Packaging 

Legacy toy brands are nostalgic triggers, especially when they’re reintroduced to the market in their original packaging that’s so familiar to consumers. Both the packaging and the products inside are snapshots that call to mind specific moments from our past, and they were positive moments because we were in a state of fantasy and play. Ted Mininni, president and creative director at Design Force looks at the recent trend of throwbacks in packaging. Read more…
Funko Crushes Q4 2020 Earnings Estimates with Biggest Domestic Quarter in Company History

Following some big declines driven by the COVID-19 pandemic and the cancellation of live events last year, the purveyors of pop culture struck back hard in the fourth quarter with net sales increasing 6% to $226.5 million as gross margin hit 37.2% alongside gains in net income and cash flow. Funko’s U.S. net sales spiked 18% to $171 million, the largest domestic quarter in the company’s history. Read more…
U.S. Video Game Sales Spiked 35% in February

According to the latest data from The NPD Group, consumers spent a record $4.6 billion across video game hardware, content, and accessories last month — a 35% increase compared to 2020. Year-to-date spending is up 39% over last year. Read more…
The Toy Association Adds New Members to its Board of Directors, Executive Committee

The Toy Association’s Annual General Meeting went virtual this year with the gathering taking place on Zoom. During the event, new members were elected to serve on The Toy Association board of directors; three were re-elected to serve additional two-year terms; and The Toy Association’s refreshed executive committee was revealed. Read more…
 
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