May 13, 2021
Play Comes Full Circle with Mattel’s PlayBack Toy Takeback Recycling Program

Mattel Inc. is taking another step toward its sustainability goals with Mattel Playback, a new toy takeback program in the U.S. and Canada. The recycling initiative seeks to extend the life of toys as part of a “circular economy” in which the materials contained in Mattel toys can be recovered and reused to create new ones. Read more…
PlayMonster Teams up with Dude Perfect for Koosh Relaunch

Wisconsin-based PlayMonster is teaming up with Dude Perfect for the relaunch of Koosh this summer. The popular YouTubers are creating an action-packed Koosh segment for an upcoming episode of their Overtime show that will debut in July, just as the iconic Koosh brand makes its return to retail under a deal inked between Hasbro and PlayMonster last fall. Read more…
Case Against Former Toys “R” Us Leadership Slowly Moves Toward Jury Trial

A lawsuit filed in March of last year against former Toys “R” Us (TRU) executives continues to creep slowly toward a trial that is set to begin on Nov. 1. Attorneys representing the TRU Creditors Litigation Trust are focusing heavily on the much-discussed bonuses received by certain TRU executives in the days prior to the former toy giant filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2017. Read more…
Just Play to Open UK Subsidiary in January 2022

The company will support its continued European growth and expansion with its first European subsidiary based in the UK by January. Just Play is currently expanding its UK office and showroom in Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire with an experienced industry team to fast-track its global expansion. Read more…
Disguise, BBC Studios Sign Deal for Bluey Costumes and Accessories

This fall, a famous Blue Heeler is headed to the costume aisles at Walmart. Disguise Inc. — the Halloween costume division of Jakks Pacific — inked a licensing deal to produce a full range of costumes and accessories based on Bluey, the animated series produced by Ludo Studio for BBC Studios. Read more…
World Video Game Hall of Fame Reveals 2021 Inductees

Animal Crossing, Microsoft Flight Simulator, StarCraft, and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? were inducted into the World Video Game Hall of Fame. The group was among a packed field of finalists that included Call of Duty, FarmVille, FIFA International Soccer, Guitar Hero, Mattel Football, Pole Position, Portal, and Tron. Read more…
Tonies Expands Collection with New Characters

Tonies expanded into the U.S. last fall, and this month the company is continuing to grow. New characters are joining the lineup of storytellers and a large sale will take place this weekend. The Peppa Pig Tonie will launch next week, and a Monsters Inc. Tonie will be out later this month. Read more…
The One Where LEGO Releases Another Friends Set

If you bought the 2019 LEGO Central Perk set faster than Joey can chug a gallon of milk, then we have news for you. LEGO revealed a second set inspired by the iconic ’90s sitcom, and it is, as Chandler would say, “perfection.” Read more…
Osmo Launches 2 New Math Wizard Titles to Help Boost Math Confidence

Osmo is helping kids build their math skills in an exciting way as the company adds two new titles to its educational Math Wizard series: Amazing Airships and Enchanted World Games. Kids can play the games on iPad and Fire tablets using the physical pieces that come with the box sets. Read more…
TOMY to Produce Toys Based on Netflix Hit Buddi

TOMY International entered into a licensing agreement with Unanico and Raydar Media to produce toys inspired by the Netflix Original Series Buddi. The series, geared toward kids under age 4, launched last year and seeks to build “emotional intelligence through the lens of imagination with non-verbal cues, sowing early seeds of creativity.” Read more…
Nintendo’s Game Builder Garage Teaches Kids to Make Games

Kids can learn how to make their own video games with Game Builder Garage, which will be out on June 11 for the Nintendo Switch family of devices. The game features fun, guided lessons that cover the basics of visual game programming. Read more…
Talkin’ Weird-Ohs with Monsterfoot Productions’ Ahmet Zappa on the ‘Power Kid Podcast’

In this week’s episode of the “Power Kid Podcast,” host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design welcomes Monsterfoot Productions’ Ahmet Zappa to the show. Zappa is gearing up to develop projects based on the Weird-Ohs monster hot rod model kits of the 1960s. Listen here...

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Build Clever and Colorful Creations with Geomag’s Supercolor Sets

Kids can build everything from dogs to UFOs with the latest additions to Geomag’s magnetic, eco-friendly construction sets featuring new Supercolor panels. Designed for kids ages 5 and up, each set includes a mixture of shaped panels, magnetic rods, and metal spheres that kids can use to build even bigger 3D objects than ever before. Read more…
Second bio!TOY Conference Seeks to Unite Toymakers, Bio-based Materials Suppliers

The second bio!TOY Conference, taking place from Sept. 7-8 in Nuremberg, Germany, will bring together key players in the industry, including toymakers, manufacturers, and suppliers of bio-based materials. The in-person event will include a digital component and is organized by bioplastics Magazine and Germany-based Narocon Innovation Consulting, supported by the German Association of the Toy Industry (DVSI), and Spielwarenmesse eG. Read more…
Dan Dee International’s Animal Adventure Inks Deal for Peanuts Plush

The Peanuts gang has a new deal for plush. Animal Adventure LLC — a subsidiary of Dan Dee International LLC — inked a licensing deal with Peanuts Worldwide to produce a new line of plush toys, soft seating, décor, and baby products based on Snoopy, Charlie Brown, and other characters from Charles Schulz’s iconic franchise. Read more…
Brands Untapped Comes to Toy Fair New York 2022

The Toy Association and Mojo Nation are teaming up for a new Brands Untapped space at Toy Fair New York 2022. The curated, experiential space will showcase collaborations between toymakers and licensing partners across multiple industries, including apparel, food and drink, hospitality, live events, video games, TV and film, and publishing. Read more…
Talkin' Toys: GPI Is Your One-stop Shop 

For more than 40 years, GPI Inc. (Grand Prix International) has been the best-kept secret in the toys and games industry. GPI brings to the table its depth of expertise for a wide range of services, from playtesting to freight and logistics. The Toy Book caught up with David Blanchard, vice president of business development at GPI, about the company's history, its recently launched product development team, making sure the "spaghetti sticks," and more. Read more…
Sustainability in the Toy Aisle: A Trend That’s Here to Stay

One of The Toy Association’s top trends of the year is “Socially Conscious Play” — which includes everything from eco-friendly toys and products made of sustainable materials to toys that educate kids on how to protect the Earth and celebrate diversity — and it is more than just a passing fad. Read more…
Embracing the Toy Life: Finding Your Place in Our World of Play

“I didn’t choose the toy life. The toy life chose me.” That tends to be a common thread among most career “toy people.” A majority of the people working in the toy industry initially chose other careers or followed different dreams that somehow led them to the toy life. Read more…
Funko Q1 Sales Spike 38%; Plots Funkoween Celebration, New Product Reveals

Funko is back to crushing expectations. The Washington-based purveyor of toys, collectibles, games, and lifestyle products reported a 38% spike in net sales to $189.2 million in the first quarter of 2021 versus $136.7 million during the same period last year. Additionally, the Toy Book has exclusive early details on the company’s upcoming Funkoween promotion. Read more…
The Last Gameboard Closes Seed Financing Round with $4 Million

The Last Gameboard has raised $4.8 million to create the world’s first tabletop gaming platform of its kind. Its seed financing round was led by TheVentureCity and raised $4 million. SOSV, Riot Games, Conscience VC, Corner3 VC, and more also participated. Since launching in January 2019, The Last Gameboard has been dedicated to creating a purpose-built, portable product for tabletop and role-playing game fans. Read more…
Spin Master Elects Ed Clark and Max Rangel to Board of Directors

Following its Q1 2021 earnings report, Spin Master Corp. held its annual and special meeting of shareholders. During the meeting, the company held its election of directors. As expected, Ed Clark, former group president and CEO of TD Bank Group, was appointed deputy chair, while Max Rangel, Spin Master’s recently appointed global president and CEO, was elected as a director. Read more…
ZAG Expands Consumer Products Team with Disney, Viacom Vets

ZAG is continuing to expand its executive ranks as it moves toward the fall release of Ghostforce and the Miraculous — Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir movie. The company appointed Hyde Schram to serve as its first vice president of global promotions with Betsabe Luna named retail and licensing director, Mexico and Central America. Read more…
 
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