April 23, 2020
Exclusive: ZURU to Remove 800 Tons of Single-Use Plastic from Bunch O Balloons; Transitions to Sustainable Surprise Bags

The New Zealand-based toy and consumer products company is expanding upon its long-running sustainability mission with a full 360-degree program for its Bunch O Balloons brand and sweeping changes to its production and packaging for other products. Read more…
Mattel Launches Sugarcane-based Toys for Earth Day

Mattel continues to make headway on its sustainability initiatives with the release of its latest toys made from sugarcane-based plastics. The plant-based Fisher-Price Rock-a-Stack and Fisher-Price Baby’s First Blocks that made their debut at Toy Fair New York are now available as a presale bundle exclusively at Walmart. Read more…

Additionally, Mattel has accelerated the production of face shields and masks for healthcare providers amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Hasbro, Cartamundi Partner to Produce Face Shields for COVID-19 Response

Following the launch of its Bring Home the Fun campaign last month and its philanthropic support of Save the Children and No Kid Hungry, Hasbro and its partner factory, Cartamundi, have retooled to produce 50,000 face shields each week. The personal protective equipment (PPE) continues to be one of the most-needed supplies in the fight against COVID-19. Read more…
Canspan BMG’s Aaron Wade Talks Toy Marketing on the ‘Power Kid Podcast’

In this week’s episode of the “Power Kid Podcast,” host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design speaks with Aaron Wade, director of public relations at CanspanBMG, a Toronto-based full service digital and social media marketing agency that has worked with brands including Treasure X and Little Live Pets (Moose Toys), Untamed (WowWee), Bunch O Balloons (ZURU), Elf on the Shelf, Laser X (NSI International), and many more. Listen here…

The Adventure Media and Events Podcast Network is now available through all of your favorite streaming services, including Anchor, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and more.
Exhibitor Renewals Open for Toy Fair New York 2021

As the toy industry continues to look forward to what a post-coronavirus world will look like, The Toy Association is making plans for a return to the Javits Center next year. The renewal season for toymakers interested in exhibiting at Toy Fair New York 2021 will begin on May 1. Read more…
ASTRA Unveils 2020 Best Toys for Kids Finalists

A total of 85 specialty toys across 14 categories have been chosen as finalists that will be voted upon by independent specialty toy retailers. According to ASTRA President Kimberly Moseley, the annual list represents the collective experience of ASTRA membership in watching kids play in their stores combined with parental feedback and individual expertise in toys and child development. Read more…
Global Licensing Group, Licensing International Launch Virtual Licensing Week

Licensing Week Virtual is a new, weeklong event that will connect retailers, manufacturers, and the media together with the licensing business. The Global Licensing Group has partnered with Licensing International for the inaugural, online-only event, which will take place from June 15-19. Read more…
Learning Resources, Educational Insights, and hand2mind Donate $350,000 in Toys to Kids In Need Foundation

Following the launch of a full suite of free Learning@Home Essentials for kids and families to enjoy while at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, Learning Resources, Educational Insights, and hand2mind have partnered with the Kids In Need Foundation. Read more…
Spin Master Introduces Sago Mini School App

While many parents are now becoming homeschool teachers unexpectedly due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, Spin Master is here to help make that transition a little bit easier. Sago Mini School is a curiosity-led learning app for kids ages 3-5. Read more…
WowWee Launches #BabySharkToySchool Campaign

WowWee is empowering parents with fun ideas to keep preschoolers busy, featuring the newest member of the Nick Jr. family: Pinkfong Baby Shark. The #BabySharkToySchool campaign loads parents up with new ways to incorporate activities for learning, laughing, and playing together. Read more…
PlayMonster Looks Forward to Full 2020 Lineup

PlayMonster prides itself on being “Big on Fun” — and its 2020 lineup is no exception. The company will introduce a new range of products this year, including games, building sets, activities, and more. Read more…
Scholastic Goes Prehistoric as Master Publishing Partner for Dino Ranch

Boat Rocker Studios just lassoed another partner for Dino Ranch . Scholastic has signed on as the master publishing partner for English language territories. The Scholastic partnership follows the recent signing of Jazwares as global master toy partner for the animated series, with more consumer product deals set to be announced over the coming months. Read more…
Goliath Preps Fall Launch for SuperThings: Rivals of Kaboom Series 2

The animated series is based on SuperZings, a global collectible range that includes everyday items that are transformed into superheroes and supervillains. In Spain, SuperZings is the No. 1 boys action figure line, and in the UK the brand ranks as the No. 2 collectible brand. Read more…
LEGO Technic Ducati Panigale V4 R Races to Retail

The LEGO Group inked a new licensing deal with Ducati Motor Holding to produce building sets based on the iconic Italian superbikes. The first set is the LEGO Technic Ducati Panigale V4 R. The 646-piece set is the first motorcycle model in LEGO Technic history to include a gearbox that builders can use to navigate different speeds. Read more…
Top Trenz’s Hottest New Accessory: Face Masks

Top Trenz — a New York-based company that produces squishies, plush, VSCO girl scrunchies, and other fashion accessories — has identified the next big trend: fashion face masks with disposable filters. The company says it hasn’t seen this much interest in a product since the fidget spinner craze. Read more…
VEX Robotics World Championship Goes Virtual

The Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation is making its annual VEX Robotics World Championship virtual this year. Although the COVID-19 outbreak forced the organization to cancel this year’s in-person event, the REC Foundation will host the VEX Robotics Virtual World Celebration and the first Fantasy Robotics Tournament this Saturday. Read more...
Hallmark Unveils Must-Have, Pop Culture-Inspired Keepsakes

Hallmark just dropped its 2020 Dream Book, and it’s perfectly named because it’s full of pop culture Keepsake Ornaments ornaments that consumers have only dreamed about. Read more...
Genius Brands’ Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten Will Premiere Next Spring on Amazon Prime

Genius Brands International announced the spring 2021 premiere of its new kids’ animated series, Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten , starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, on Amazon Prime . Amazon Prime joins Alibaba Group, which will launch the series in China on its video streaming platform for kids, Youku. Read more…
Ty Warner Releases a Hope Bear to Support COVID-19 Relief

Ty Warner, owner of plush toy manufacturer and distributor Ty, is creating a limited-edition Beanie Boos bear named Hope to help with COVID-19 relief efforts. The plush bear sits in a praying position and features colorful, pastel fur and glittery pink eyes and ears. The multi-colored bear will act as a symbol of hope while also supporting the United Way Worldwide COVID-19 Fund. Warner will donate 100% of the profits from the original sale to the fund. Read more…
Video Games Join Puzzles as Top-Selling Category Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

According to The NPD Group, March 2020 tracked spending across video game hardware, software, accessories, and game cards totaled $1.6 billion, showing a 35% increase compared to last year. This massive uptick marks the highest reported video game spend in March since the $1.8 billion achieved in 2008. Read more…
U.S. Offers Tariff Payment Deferment with a Catch

Under a newly issued executive order from President Donald J. Trump, the Treasury Department and Customs and Border Protection issued a joint Temporary Interim Final Rule providing the option for a 90-day deferment period on the payment of duties, taxes, and fees by certain businesses. Read more…
ASTRA Cuts Staff Amid COVID-19, Marketplace & Academy Cancellation

The impact of COVID-19 and its related closures is taking a massive toll on retailers, particularly independent toy stores and those in the specialty realm. Now, the damage is hitting at the association level. Read more…
Former Disney Execs Join Age of Learning

A pair of former Disney executives have joined Age of Learning, the company behind the ABCMouse and Adventure Academy online learning platforms. Bonnie Matosich steps into the role of executive vice president, brand, and Rob Gilby assumes the position of executive vice president and managing director, international. Both will report directly to Age of Learning CEO Paul Candland. Read more…

Kids2 Names Kristin Crossman as Chief People Officer

After spending nearly a year as its interim human resources leader, Kristin Crossman has officially joined Kids2. In her new role, Crossman is responsible for driving the cultivation of corporate culture across the global organization and leading team member strategy as the company scales globally. Read more…
 
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