September 24, 2020
The Toy Insider Experts Help Families Sleigh the Holidays with the Hottest Toys of 2020

The Toy Insider unwrapped its 15th annual holiday gift guide, featuring the hottest toys and games this holiday season. Created by the toy industry’s most influential organization and a trusted go-to resource for parents and gift-givers, the Toy Insider’s 2020 Holiday Gift Guide will appear in print with the November issue of Parents magazine, hitting newsstands beginning Oct. 5. The epic guide features nearly 160 toys in its print edition and more than 300 toys online from more than 110 toy companies. 

The Holiday Gift Guide is toplined by three major showcase lists: the legendary Hot 20 (the most wished-for items of the year); the STEM 10 (science, technology, engineering, and math toys that make learning fun); and the 12 Under $12 (affordable toys packed with play value and unboxing experiences). Read more…
NECA Owner Set to Purchase Rubie’s Costume Co. Assets

As reported last month, Rubie’s II LLC is leading the charge as the Stalking Horse bidder to take over operations of the company. In Court filing No. 375 this week, the general manager of Rubie’s II was revealed to be Joel Weinshanker, majority owner of Elvis Presley Enterprises; managing partner of Graceland Holdings; and the sole member, chairman, and founder of the National Entertainment Collectibles Association Inc., best-known to those in the toy industry as NECA. Read more…
Spin Master Unboxes Present Pets; Launches Mighty Express on Netflix

Spin Master is unleashing Present Pets puppies, an innovative new line of interactive pets that unbox themselves. The new brand is inspired by the classic dream of kids being gifted a puppy in a bow-topped box. Present Pets have already secured a spot on the Toy Insider's legendary Hot 20 list and will be available in North America in limited supply beginning Oct. 1. Read more…

The company also launched Mighty Express, a CG animated series that takes place in Tracksville, on Netflix. The show explores a playful world of railway tracks, a team of trains, and their kid best friends who keep things moving and get the delivery done no matter what the trouble. Read more…
The Toy Association Offers Updates on International Advocacy 

The Toy Association’s dedicated External Affairs team is continuing to advocate for members on important issues around the globe. Although the continued spread of the COVID-19 pandemic is top of mind for most, the Association is working to represent the toy industry as it seeks to give toymakers a voice in both domestic and international affairs. Read more...
Hasbro Brings Back ’80s HeroQuest Games with HasLab Campaign

Hasbro is firing up its HasLab crowdsourcing platform again, this time to relaunch HeroQuest, a role-playing board game that originally launched in 1989. The updated version will launch under the Avalon Hill Brand, a Hasbro subsidiary. It features new art, premium miniature figures, and exclusive quest books for an enhanced gameplay experience. Read more…
Mattel Blasts Off with Toys for Netflix’s Over the Moon

Netflix released a new trailer for the upcoming musical adventure, Over the Moon, and Mattel is releasing a toy line based on the inspiring and charming characters from the film. Mattel is embracing the film’s theme of the power of imagination with dolls and plush toys, featuring characters such as Fei Fei, Bungee, Chang’e, Gobi, and more. Read more...
Jakks Pacific Unveils Halloween-themed Sets with Super Mario, Frozen II Characters

The spread of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to force creativity and evolution across a variety of industries, including toys that incorporate seasonal elements. This year, the company is introducing a new product range in an effort to connect with families during the spooky season while cross-pollinating its toys and Disguise Inc. costumes: Treats at Home. Read more…
Kellytoy Honors Everyday Heroes with New Squishmallows

Kellytoy, a subsidiary of Jazwares, announced the latest addition to the Squishmallows squad with six Squishmallows Heroes launching next month. The lineup honors everyday heroes with plush, squishy toy versions of an EMT/medic, a doctor, a nurse, a firefighter, a grocery clerk, and a detective. Read more…
Jess Weiner to Headline at WIT Launch: Innovation Summit

Generation Alpha is growing up in a strange time in history. At Women in Toys’ upcoming WIT Launch: Innovation Summit, Jess Weiner will discuss how this affects the way we’ll play in the future. Weiner, CEO and Culture Expert, will headline the virtual conference on Oct. 5 with her keynote address, Meet the Activist Toddler. Read more…
Fisher-Price Expands Little People Collectors Series with Elf, Lord of the Rings

More famous faces are joining the ranks of the Fisher-Price Little People. Following the introduction of sets inspired by The Beatles, Masters of the Universe, KISS, and The Office, Mattel’s Fisher-Price is adding characters from Elf and Lord of The Rings to the Little People Collectors Series. Read more...
Playmates Toys Unveils Billie Eilish Collectible Figures, Fashion Dolls

At Toy Fair New York this past February, Playmates Toys was among a few licensees that were teasing collaborations with singer-songwriter Billie Eilish. Now, Playmates, in collaboration with Bravado, launched pre-orders for the “All the Good Girls Go to Hell” 6-inch Collectible Figure and “Bad Guy” 10.5-inch Fashion Doll. Read more…
Hasbro, LEGO, and Funko Unveil New Star Wars Toys During ‘Mando Mondays’

Officially set to begin on Oct. 26 following an inaugural Mando Monday this week, the nine-week global event will feature new toys, games, consumer products, and publishing titles tied into the popular Star Wars spinoff, it’s titular bounty hunter, Din Djarin, and The Child (Baby Yoda). Read more…
Tonies Are Officially Available in the U.S. — Here’s How the Founders Did It

A small cube is innovating what it means to tell stories and how kids play. Tonies launched in 2016 in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland after three years of design and engineering development. In 2018, the company expanded into the UK and Ireland and has now become the fastest-growing toy company in Europe. This week, it makes its way across the pond into the hands of North American consumers. Read more…
Nostalgia Inspires the Creators of Panda Mony Toys But Doesn't Hold Them Back

Panda Mony was founded by Ryan Magnon with the intention of making a new, original kids’ brands. The toy company’s first toy line, Alter Nation, which Vice President of Content Curtis Andersen helped develop, gives kids the opportunity to discover brand-new characters instead of the same familiar faces their parents (and in some cases grandparents) played with. The brand evokes nostalgia but still gives modern kids something totally unique while providing modern adults with a new type of collectible. Read more…
The Pandemic Gaming Boom Continues to Level Up at Retail

According to The NPD Group, August consumer spending across video game hardware, content (software), and accessories hit $3.3 billion, an increase of 37% over the same month last year. The big win was in digital content, including mobile content and subscription spending. Read more…
ASTRA Reveals Leadership Shakeup; Appoints Sue Warfield as Interim President

The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) revealed an immediate change in leadership. Sue Warfield, a 30-year toy industry veteran, is taking the helm as interim president of ASTRA. Read more…
Former Hasbro Executive Marc Rosenberg Joins Genius Brands International

Genius Brands International has appointed Marc Rosenberg as its president of global brands and chief marketing officer. Rosenberg is the former head of marketing at Hasbro and Tiger Electronics, where he led the global launch for popular brands including Furby, Hit Clips, and GigaPets. Read more…
Cloudco Entertainment Expands Development, Production, Distribution Team

A pair of new executives have joined the crew at Cloudco Entertainment, the company behind Care Bears and Madballs. The company appointed Myles Hobbs as vice president, global distribution, along with Daniel Barnes as development executive. Read more…
 
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