September 17, 2020
New NRF Import Data Suggests an Unexpectedly Happy Holiday Season Ahead

Despite coming at the end of a challenging year, the upcoming holiday season might prove to end better than expected. The toy industry is well-positioned with a solid lineup of new toys this fall, and new data from the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Hackett Associates bodes well for retail as a whole. Read more...
Jakks Pacific Named Master Toy Partner for HARIBO

Jakks Pacific Inc. just made a sweet licensing deal with HARIBO Group, the makers of popular gummy candy. Under the new deal, Jakks becomes the global master toy partner for the confectioner with the rights to create and sell collectibles and activities based on HARIBO candy brands in North America and the EMEA territories. Read more…
Playmates Toys Named Master Toy Partner for YouTubers Vlad & Niki

Retail Monster and Haven Global brokered a new deal for Playmates Toys to take the reins as the global master toy partner for Vlad & Niki. Playmates, best known for its long-running Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles collection, will launch a full range of action figures, standard and deluxe vehicles, roleplay gear, and indoor/outdoor accessories next summer. Read more…
American Girl Unveils Historical ’80s Doll with Licensed Accessories

American Girl revealed its newest Historical doll with a little help from The Go-Gos on Today. The new character Courtney Moore celebrates a historic era of high hair and neon leggings with her ‘80s theme. The doll also includes era-specific licensed accessories including Care Bears and Pac-Man items.  Read more…
LEGO Chooses Paper over Plastic in Latest Sustainability Push

The Danish brickmaker is dumping the single-use plastic bags that have been a staple of LEGO building sets for years in favor of environmentally friendly, easy-to-open paper bags. The move comes alongside a $400 million pledge over the next three years to accelerate the company's long-running sustainability and social responsibility efforts. Read more…
Women in Toys Introduces WIT Launch Virtual Programming Series

WIT Launch is the latest educational programming series from the organization that champions the advancement of women through leadership, networking, and educational opportunities. The series will include virtual programs — including interactive workshops, panels, learning, and mentorship opportunities — designed to boost innovation and creativity within the $90 billion global toy, game, and entertainment industry. Read more…
MGA Entertainment Invites Fans to a Global Viewing Party for L.O.L. Surprise! Remix Collection Launch

The latest brand extension for MGA Entertainment’s popular L.O.L. Surprise! will crank the amps to 11 in a multi-genre celebration of music spanning pop, hip hop, country, R&B, and rock. L.O.L. Surprise! Remix puts a musical spin on the three-time Toy of the Year winning brand for a fresh season of fashion. Read more…
Educational Insights Debuts Reusable Face Masks

Educational Insights is introducing three new packs of face masks for kids ages 3 and up. The packs each have three designs and are made out of double-layered, breathable cotton and stretchy elastic that shouldn’t pull on ears. Read more...
Inaugural Beyblade Burst Beymaster Invitational Will Take Place in October

Hasbro and ADK Emotions invite fans to tune into Hasbro’s Facebook page on Oct. 17 at 9 a.m. EDT to catch the Bladers competing in the livestream event. A dozen contenders will battle it out to see who’s the best at using the battle-top brand. Read more...
An ‘Eggmazing’ Edition of the ‘Power Kid Podcast’

In this week’s episode of the “Power Kid Podcast,” host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design speaks with Scott Houdashell and Curtis McGill, the duo behind the popular Eggmazing. Intended to be “a better way to decorate eggs,” what started off as a hot glue stick, a cordless drill, and a spoon became a Shark Tank hit that landed a deal with Lori Greiner and put the invention in front of a national audience. Listen here...

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People of Play Reveals 13th Annual TAGIE Awards Finalists

People of Play (formerly known as the Chicago Toy & Game Group) announced the finalists for the 13th annual Toy & Game International Excellence Awards (TAGIES). The TAGIES now feature eight categories and 80 nominees and honorees. The newest category for 2020 is the “Most Innovative Supplier of the Year.” This year’s awards are sponsored by Hasbro, The Michael Kohner Corporation, PlayMonster, Cartamundi, and Nexttoy. Read more…
Jazwares Introduces Avengers Zōteki Characters

Marvel’s mightiest heroes are heading to collector shelves with a new line from Jazwares. The Avengers Zōteki Series 1 includes 4-inch characters that are inspired by Marvel Comics‘ 2013 “Infinity” comic book crossover event, designed for fans ages 8 and up. Read more…
Virtual Hot Wheels Legends Tour Rolls on with New Finalist, Die-cast Reveal

Despite the switch to a virtual car show amid the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hot Wheels Legends Tour is rolling on with a regular dose sweet rides that represent a culture of “built not bought,” in an effort to find what could become the next iconic die-cast toy. Read more…

In other Mattel news, the company revealed its next Star Wars offering, a vinyl head plush edition of Babu Frick from The Rise of Skywalker.
Sam’s Club Gets an Early Start on the Holidays with September Toy Picks

At the Toy Insider’s Sweet Suite @ Home event in July, Sam’s Club revealed plans to debut more than 50 club-exclusive toys for the holidays. This month, pallets of new toys have begun rolling into clubs across the U.S. as families begin to get an early start on an unusual shopping season. Read more…
The BTS Fever Is Real with Epoch’s New Puzzle Line

Epoch Everlasting Play is delivering a backstage pass to the popular South Korean boy band BTS with a line of collectible puzzles. Each 108-piece puzzle features a different member of the band: RM, Jin, SUGA, j-hope, Jimin, V, or Jung Kook. Superfans can collect them all, and once completed, the puzzles also depict images from BTS’ latest album, Map of the Soul: 7. Read more…
This Is Fine: Funko Immortalizes Meme as a Pop! Vinyl Collectible

If there’s one collectible that might sum up 2020 as a whole, this might just be it. The This is Fine Dog Pop! Vinyl Figure from Funko is now available as an Entertainment Earth exclusive. If you’ve been on the internet, you know the character — the coffee-drinking dog who calmly sits as the world burns around him. Read more...
Set Celebrates Its 30th Anniversary this ‘Setember’

PlayMonster has rebranded this month as Setember to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the popular game Set. All month, the company will celebrate with #SETSundays, in which PlayMonster’s social media will be dedicated to solving Set puzzles. In addition, a new puzzle shows up on this website every day, where people can head to solve it. Read more…
VTech Debuts Fall Toy Lineup

VTech’s toy lineup for the fall is packed with products that spark imaginative play and get kids active. Tots can catch fish, shoot some hoops, run a firehouse, or catch up with their BFF Cory Carson. Read more…
SEGA Reveals Sonic the Hedgehog 30th Anniversary Licensing Program

SEGA of America is gearing up to celebrate three decades of its iconic Blue Blur. Next year’s anniversary merchandise collection will include a full range of Sonic-inspired toys, books, collectibles, apparel, and more from partners including Jakks Pacific, Funko, IDW, Dark Horse, FiGPiN, and others Read more…
Eolo’s ToyZone Appoints Anjar & Becker Associates as Licensing Agent

Under the new agreement, Anjar & Becker Associates will serve as the exclusive licensing agent for ToyZone, an international design studio serving the toy industry. ToyZone was founded six years ago to support Eolo’s toy development. In the years since, the firm has grown to provide services for numerous toy industry clients in addition to developing its own products and properties. Read more...
Licensed Rubik’s Cubes Are Now Available from The Op

Three new Rubik’s Cubes have arrived from the Op to celebrate the toy’s 40th anniversary and some popular franchises. The toys are inspired by Harry Potter and SpongeBob SquarePants for kids ages 8 and up, and a 17-and-up version is for fans of Rick and Morty. Read more…
GameStop Reports 26.7% Sales Drop Despite 800% E-Commerce Growth

The struggling GameStop continues to spin its wheels in a world drastically changed by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Texas-based retailer of video games, accessories, and collectibles reported second-quarter earnings that very much mirror its Q1 performance. Read more…
RedwoodVentures Names Rick Greenberg as CEO

Greenberg replaces Gary King, who resigned from the company to accept a leadership position with a U.S.-based food company. Greenberg is a toy industry executive with a broad range of experience, including CEO of Shelcore Toys, founder of Womy's World of Musical Play, and, most recently, as president of Carrera of America Inc. Read more…
Former WWE Executive Stefan Kastenmüller Appointed General Manager, Sesame Workshop for Europe

Sesame Workshop tapped Stefan Kastenmüller to assume the newly created position of general manager for Europe. In his new role, Kastenmüller will lead a team working to identify issues that are relevant to European kids in an effort to develop community outreach programs featuring Sesame Street similar to those in other countries around the world. Read more…
New Executives Appointed for Genius Brands’ Kartoon Classroom!, Kartoon Channel!

Jon Ollwerther, who joined Genius Brands from Measure last year, has been appointed to oversee the operations of Kartoon Channel! and Kartoon Classroom! in the new role of general manager and executive vice president of global business development. Additionally, Disney vet Lou Fazio has joined the Kartoon business as a senior advisor. Read more…
 
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